The Back Page
You’ll get happy when you see this bus from bygone days. Do you know where in the Hudson Valley it is?
The Back Page
Where In The
C’mon Get Happy
By Olivia J. Abel
Photo by Jennifer May
Valleyites are accustomed to seeing plenty of Adirondack Trailways coaches chugging through the region. But we feel confident that a glimpse of this particular psychedelic bus will quickly transport many readers on a trip right down memory lane.
But before you get too excited, this bus was not used by the famous singing Partridge family while filming their eponymous 1970s TV show. “It’s a replica that was made for David Cassidy’s 2002 appearance on Good Morning America,” says owner Jack McLaughlin. “He had a new album coming out. So they prepped the bus in California and shipped it to New York.” A buddy asked McLaughlin, who works in films, if he wanted to drive it. “But the catch was, whoever drove the bus had to keep it — they weren’t going to pay to ship it back. I said okay.” McLaughlin drove the bus to Long Island to pick up fans and then hauled them back to Manhattan, where GMA anchors Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer boarded the groovy gas guzzler. “People were singing and honking their horns; it was pretty funny,” recalls McLaughlin. “Cassidy wouldn’t go near it.”
Later that day, McLaughlin drove the bus to his newly purchased Hudson Valley property, where it has remained for the last six years. “I do have classic car insurance on it, but I can’t hire it out for passengers or anything like that,” says the owner about his multicolored machine. “But we’ve taken it into town on Sundays to get the paper. It’s fun.” And now it’s a landmark. “I get about a dozen people each weekend who stop by and want to take pictures — all year round, you’ll even see footprints in the snow. If they are really nice, I’ll let them go inside and drop their head out the window to take a picture.”
So was McLaughlin a Partridge Family fan? “Nah, not at all,” he says. “But it is fun having it; people light up when they see it.” But pop culture fanatics, take note: “I may sell my [Hudson Valley] property soon,” says McLaughlin. “So this could be the year the bus goes on eBay.”
Do you know where this vintage vehicle is located? If you do, E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first person with the correct location (route number and town) wins a prize.