COBWEB CORNERS: More about buses

By Mel McFarland

       One of my mother's cousins drove the Colorado Avenue route and I always had to watch my behavior. That was an advantage to parents when the town was smaller. You did not know who you might be seen by!
       Anyway, these little shuttle buses began to be seen all over town once they were past their usefulness. Some were junked, but the one I remember being around the longest was used by KRDO. It was purchased in their early days and the inside was used as a traveling broadcast studio. It even had its own generator and sound system. When there were parades downtown it was parked at Busy Corner, and the announcer sometimes sat in a chair on the roof with his microphone. When TV came in the 1950s, the station needed more room, so its owners got a bigger vehicle.
       This one also was a GHOST! In 1949 the Midland Terminal ran its last train to Cripple Creek. The station recorded the sound of the trip and did quite a program on the trip. Years ago they even sold records of the day. I have seen tapes made from the records. Anyway, on the anniversary, the station owner, and one of his trusted engineers took the bus up to Cripple Creek. They found a spot on the old railroad line and undid one of the headlights. They turned up their loud speakers and played the sound of the train as loud as they could. They drove a few minutes, waking up dozens. Just as quick they turned off the light, but kept the sound going. They let it rip for a bit longer, and when lights all over town came on, they found their way back to Colorado Springs. After fixing the headlight, of course.
       The event caused a lot of excitement. The story was still being told 20 years later. I understand some were quite saddened when it did not happen again in 1951. One of the reasons was that the radio station had changed hands. The main instigator was now in Wisconsin!
       There are still a few of the old White buses in the junkyards out on "Farmers Highway" near "Trash Hill." They were retired back in the 1960s, but they are used now mainly to hold valuable parts at one or two of the yards. They have white paint on them, but I still remember them as being two shades of green.