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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Home Is Where The Bus Is

I was in the stacks the other day looking for a book on basements when I ran across one of the greatest gems of all time: Rolling Homes: Handmade Houses on Wheels. What's the book about, you ask? I think the title says it all! Published back in 1979, this slim volume manages to capture the funky feel of 1970's cheesy camp mixed with a hefty dose of do-it-yourself-ness and environmentalism. With offerings like the picture below, I'm frantic to highlight some of my favorite parts. (You know I read this sucker cover to cover, right?)
While the pictures are obviously the best part of the book, this quote also says quite a bit: "I drove an old school bus home and surprised Phyllis with it as a Christmas present. She about fell over" (Lidz 32). Probably because there wasn't enough orange plaid inside, right Phyllis? Not because your husband has entered into a wild scheme involving your Christmas present being a school bus and becoming your home!

"Fenders, grills and bumpers are like friendly faces from the past" (9) says Lidz, but you do have to wonder if some have taken this to the extreme. What I mean is, this converted bus looks like a lot of fun, but I think they tried to fit all of their friendly vehicles from the past on it. I see at least two older vehicles teetering on top--is that another bus... and... a boat that they've stuck up there? Pure genius!

The author has included floor plans on several of the vehicles, dividing the book into the categories of buses, small rigs and trucks. According to her, the largest of these motoring homes runs to about 300 sq. ft. and the smallest to about 36 sq. ft. (Lidz 10).

I know you're dying to see the insides of one of these treasures and I won't let you down. These modified homes are certainly beautiful, aren't they? Look at all of that hand-crafted woodwork.
Of course, there is there is also that magical moustache to ogle.
One "Rolling Home" owner commented that "'It's both a bus and a fantasy'" (Lidz 21).

Fantasy bus. Yes. You could say that.

By the way, check out someone else's opinion on Rolling Homes in this unique book review.

Lidz, Jane. Rolling Homes: Handmade Houses on Wheels. New York: A & W Visual Library, 1979.

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