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How Much Did It Cost

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How Much Did It Cost
Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:47 am

The most frequent question I am asked about my bus is “How much did it cost?” Which I freely admit, kind of irritates me. American’s want to know the cost of everything, but at the same time, I always seem to find that they know the true value of nothing.

You ever notice that?

No one has ever asked for instance, “How much does it weigh?” How long did it take to build it? How many miles of wire is inside it? How did you find it?” Stuff like that.

They always just offer up ... “How much did it cost?”

Taking all of this one step further, it is like my Daddy used to say: “Son, if you have to ask, you caint afford it.” Lot of truth in that.

Most of us who reside in the bus community of life, know what they cost. We fuel them, repair them, polish and cherish them, and all of it requires an investment upon our part to make it all work.

Now we will run this one up the old flagpole and see if we can find anyone who will salute it. The most expensive part of any of this, is believe it or not, is the time. The time is the most expensive part of this endeavor, not the loose change.

You know, when you reach my mile-marker in life, middle age, a small voice inside you says … “Just because you are retired and living the good life. Just because you have reached that particular pinnacle in life, that doesn’t mean you should not take advantage of new challenges and seek out new adventures. You get on this crazy merry-go-round we call life and go for it, and by golly, you should make the most of it. Find yourself a good used bus on the Internet and then go for it!”

When you hear this in your head, beware. This is the voice of Satan. Walk quickly, no run, to the nearest exit and check yourself out!

One night at a bus rally not long ago I asked a guy, “What does a paint job like that cost?” He smiled and said, “Y’know? I really LOVE MY EAGLE and you don’t want to know what that paint job cost, you really don’t.” So as you can readily see, “None of us are immune to this affliction, we all do it from time to time.”

A couple of weeks ago a guy walked up to me at the fuel island and he asked, “Where can I find a bus like this?” and I just smiled my toothy smile and said, “Nowhere, I got the ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD LIKE IT.” Which is true, no one else has one like mine, some are similar, but none are just exactly like it.

Not to be deterred he then he looked me straight in the eye and said it .... “How much did it cost?”

I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Don’t know, never figured it.” What this guy just doesn’t get or understand is one simple truth. None of this is about money, it is rather, about time. All of it gets down to time, we don’t have enough of it, and we (all of us) are all running out of it in one way or the other.

That is the bottom line ... the true cost.

This, I suppose is the best idea I was able to come up with this week. I freely offer it up to share with you, and all you had to pay me was a little of your time. Where can you get a better deal than that?

See you in the fast lane.

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Re: How Much Did It Cost
Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:57 am

Nice! I can sorta relate, all I get nowadays is How much is it gonna take to finish the conversion :shock: :x . Thanks Don :D :)
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Re: How Much Did It Cost
Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:01 am

That is so true! Time is the most precious commodity we have. The clock starts ticking backwards the minute we are born. Without time, there is nothing.

When I first bought our Eagle I kept track of every penny, took the time to add it up and it scared me so much I haven't done it since. Time on the other hand can be easily figured, just double it and then add some more! ;)

Our coaches are a unique expression of us, not another like it!

Glad you took the time to write that! :D
Becky & Paul Lawry
1968 Eagle 01 #7443
Silver 8V92 HT 740

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Re: How Much Did It Cost
Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:58 am

Great post!

I too stopped keeping track after the amount started to make me feel insane.
Joe Laird
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Re: How Much Did It Cost
Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:40 pm


That was great! I enjoy your writing, you should have been a professional writer if you weren't.

Everything you said is true. We get that question a lot, especially after the first question "did you do this yourself?". I honestly have to tell them I don't know what it cost. I lost track.

Anyway again, it was a very enjoyable read.

1978 05 Eagle with 450HP Cummins ISM / Allison HT740
Started in 1996 and still an in-progress hobby.
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Re: How Much Did It Cost
Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:35 pm

I have a drawer full of receipts that I from time to time have thought about adding up to see what we have spent over the years....but like you all...I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW!!

Time....geez louise.....hours and hours....but they were mostly FUN and Tony and I have become better friends and people because of all the time we have shared in the bus projects!!

Thanks for sharing a valuable lesson to all!!

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Re: How Much Did It Cost
Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:47 pm

Could not have been said better! I tell everyone you have to feed your face and you have to feed your soul. Some do it with a boat, others with an airplane, some volunteer....we have our buses. It is difficult to explain why owning my Eagle seems so mirrors life like I can't believe. I know every member of this club knows exactly what I'm talking about.....thanks for putting it into words. As Robert Earl Keen says "The road goes on forever and the party never ends"!! As you say...see ya in the fast lane.

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Re: How Much Did It Cost
Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:19 pm

I resemble those remarks :P

Thank You Wayne
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Re: How Much Did It Cost
Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:22 pm

Nicely Done Don
Andy Wright 68 Silver Eagle Model 5 8V92 #7481
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Re: How Much Did It Cost
Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:26 am

Eagle Andy wrote:Nicely Done Don

Lot of comments on this post, that is always nice. Must have hit a familiar chord with some of you. As I work off of bootlegged WI-FI and a laptop computer, I have taken the liberty of answering all of them in one swoop, hope you don’t mind?

Hey Van,

No rest for the weary! Git R Done Son (to borrow a phrase). About the best one I ever received was from this cowboy who wanted to know “If he had to take his boots off before he went inside” I liked that. It is kind of nice when they (non bus people) orbit around it in Walmart parking lots checking it out and all.

About the only time it gets real ugly is when it is standing at the pump lapping it up like an old hound at the water bucket who has been run too hard.

That part ... I am not all that fond of.



Hello Paul,

1,440 minutes in a day, think about it. Just suppose you had a bank account, and each and every single day, someone would deposit in your account, $1,440.00. Now if you are like most folks, you would draw out of the account each and every penny of it.

Every day God gives us 1,440 minutes to do with as we please, waste them or use them wisely.

Time. Truly a precious resource, and like I said, “Non-renewable.”

Two frogs are sitting on a log, each time a fly comes by, one of them sticks out his long tongue and snatches the fly! Then they laugh long and hearty, this goes on and on, the scenario repeating itself.

Then a third frog happens along and he too watches the festivities and then not being able to stand it anymore asks one frog, “How come you guys laugh, every time you snatch a fly like that?”

And the frog replies, “Pretty simple, time is fun when you are having flies!” (Groan. Yeah, I know, pretty bad. What do you expect for free?)

Glad you liked the piece.




I did the very same thing, fortunately I had a computer hard drive crash and lost most of the data, so that was my saving grace you might say (I did however have all the backup receipts in a box). On any given day I could I suppose give you a running estimate, but then again, it serves no purpose. I cannot sell it for what I have invested in it, in resources and/or time, so I just don’t worry about it.



Thanks Bill,

Some things catch my attention from time to time, often I will sit down and write it down, share it on the page. For instance this guy in Florida, he writes for a living, has won the Pulitzer Prize for his work. He sits down in his sunroom, puts on a pair of noise canceling headphones and begins his work day.

Must be nice. Most of the time my days are already lined out and waiting on me, long before the sun comes up at the end of the road.

This piece, I suppose is the best idea I was able to come up with this week. There comes a time when you more or less run out of fresh ideas in life. I suppose it is the way of things, I am not sure. Ideas, writing ideas don’t come as easily as they used to, for some strange reason they just don’t seem to be there.

Here lately when I occasionally do get what I consider a good idea, I put it on a “storyboard” (a designated space on the computer) so that I might work on it further at some time in the future. Rainy days are good storyboard days, the next time it rains, I will sit down and share some random thoughts with you.

Just enjoy writing or story telling no big deal. Ironically, as a youngster, I consistently registered a “D” on my report card when it came to English ... Now this, go figure? (I never had my science project done on time either come to think of it.)

I distinctly remember coming home one day with my report card and my father inquired of me, “What you got?” I said, “three C’s and two D’s ... I think it is a Full House. Which got me five fingers upside my head.”

Story of my life.



A lady checks in! How refreshing is that? I once read about a bus nut who spent something like FIFTEEN YEARS on a coach. Hard to believe, when I see something like that, I think to myself .... “They are going to love him at the home.”

It was my habit to keep them (receipts) in a cardboard box, secreted away in the deep inner reaches of my shop. But as luck would have it, she found them, and not only did she inspect them, but she added them up!

Much to my dismay the grand total was over 80K and as any husband can testify ... this is not good. (In my defense, go out and pick up a used engine and then rebuild it, that is a real eye opener right there.)

After what most would consider a “lively discussion on the subject” she said to me ... “How can you justify this?”

I just shrugged my shoulders and said .... “It keeps me outta the beer joints.”

Thanks for checking in there Pam.




“Could not have said it better?” but I have to disagree, you did a fine job with it. I like the “it mirrors life” quote, that was good, I am afraid that I am going to have to “borrow it” one of these days, good stuff.

Someone said “there are no new ideas” and I suppose to a point that is correct. I pick up what I can use here and there, the rest of it, I throw it away.

Here is an example, heard this one just this week.

“I am retired, I don’t do nuthin’ and I don’t do that until at least 11AM”



“I resemble those remarks”

El Presedente! I was curious whether or not you would pick up on it? (Now you have had your fifteen minutes of fame ... Hah!)




Still slamming the slab? Thanks for the comment, just goes to show you, “even a blind hog will find an acorn every now and then.”

Thanks folks, I appreciate it.

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