Cori: This is a perfect example of why paying attention can sometimes pay off. I was driving through Bangor with a friend of mine Friday afternoon. We were on our way out to drop some brush at the Public Works facility, and we happened to cut across a side road and saw something amazing!

There, parked by the side of the road, was this enormous tricked out old school bus, with a spoiler, huge horns and flames painted up the side. It.Was.Unreal.

As we slowed down to take a closer look at it, I noticed there were some folks, with big smiles, standing around the bus. Being a complete spazz, and as curious as a toddler in a cake-shop, I just had to know what this thing was all about.

So I asked my friend to pull over, and before he could even put the truck into park, I was out the door, crossing the street and approaching the people surrounding the bus, which had "Kool" written all over it.

I asked if they were the owners of the "Kool Bus" to which one man replied, I used to be.

He introduced himself as Jay Shorette. And he said he had built the "Kool Bus" with his crew over at Dirigo Slipform, for a fun way to blow off some steam. He said it took them 2 and a half years, and that the bus was made up of mostly recycled parts from other vehicles.

But what he said next was kind of the "Koolest" thing about this story.

Shorette said that while he had had a great run for some twelve years with the "Kool Bus", taking it all over the place, doing charity events with it and even driving laps at Loudon and drag-racing the thing in Winterport, it was time now to pass it on. So he was in town to give it to his son-in-law, Frank Casella, for his 39th birthday. Frank and Shorette's daughter, Samantha have a little girl named Carmen, and Shorette hopes they will be able to enjoy the "Kool Bus" for many years to come. Take a listen to some of our conversation:

What's so strange is that I've always wanted to convert an old school bus into an RV. And I keep seeing old buses for sale, all over the place. I am so inspired right now!

JStew: I started playing in cover bands in high school, and we got tired of renting U-Hauls and such to get from gig to gig. So we also bought an old school bus and converted it to our own crazy shaggin' wagon. We painted it black with house paint and rollers, and put bull horns on the front to complete the full rock & roll look. Although sadly, someone stole those off the hood at a gig.

I can't really say I missed that old beast. It left us stranded on the side of the road more than once. But the thing was in rugged shape when we got it. But it was comfy. I do miss that. We ripped all the seats out and bolted couches down to the floor. I wish I had interior photos, but scope out the old girl!

Photo: Chris Healy/Luke Smith
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