The story came full circle on Saturday March 29th when Gwenda, Pat and Molly were reunited with the Hotel Colorado Welcome Wagon, albeit a long way from their first meeting place in the American West. It brought back many memories for the road-trip nurses; their spell working at the hotel in the Rocky Mountain resort of Glenwood Springs was one of the highlights of their American stay, with free time spent on picnics, fishing trips and horseback rides (see the bottom picture).
The bus’s new owner, Michael Chazot, and his father, Alain, drove all the way from Annecy near Switzerland to attend the Volksworld Show at Sandown Park, Surrey, here in the UK. It was such a pleasure to meet them both and spend time with them that day.
It was great to see the bus getting so much attention, and to see so many people stopping to read its story, which Michael displayed in the windows (read it on my page Hotel Colorado Welcome Wagon). That it is here today is thanks mainly to two men – Tom Arnold (also known as Tom Tom), who rescued it, and John Jones who brought it back to life.
Lots of photos were taken, including one in which we made an attempt to re-create the now famous one of the five nurses and their friend Cleo, with me, Pat’s son Alastair and daughter-in-law Kim standing in for absent friends. The 1958 photo plays a big part in the story – it not only allowed Michael to find us and bring us all together for this special day, but it also helped him to carry out his restoration.
Later we gave a talk about the girls’ road trip. As the show organisers had billed it as a ‘trip in a camper van’ I’m just relieved that nobody walked out! We must have looked a bit incongruous, anyway, sandwiched between the ‘tech talks’. Mind, the girls were a dab hand at fixing a tyre or mending a broken fan belt on Flatus in their day.
To top it all, we had informal talks with a film producer while we were there, but that, hopefully, is another story.
On our way! Cowboy hat at the ready!
Left to right, Pat, Molly, Gwenda
Me and the girls
With Michael Chazot, second from right
Gwenda, where she is always happiest!
The picture that started it all
And our 2014 re-creation of it!