Cold, Hectic, Awesome

Pennsylvania / Nov. 11, 2012 / by Gelb
Cold, Hectic, Awesome

It's been another great week on the road for Bus 52. Because it's getting colder, we're finding it harder and harder to find open campgrounds. Some might see that as a deterrent - we only see it as a challenge. We covered three stories this week, started in Buffalo, NY and ended just outside Philadelphia.

Our Buffalo campground was behind a motel - The Royal Motel on Niagra Falls Blvd. The motel was one that certainly had charm fitting the name. Nevertheless, the owners were very nice, and all of our power and water worked. It was cold while we were there. There was a bit of snow, but the temperatures got down to below freezing most nights. It was our first real extended period of cold weather since January.

Our story in Buffalo was about a program started by a University Professor from BU, Joe Gardella, to work to better enrich science education in the public school system in and around Buffalo. By targeting high-need school districts, grad students would come in to assist science teachers when performing interesting and unique experiments with which to engage the students. We happened to stop in on a class using toy cars to learn about resistance, friction and other fancy physics terms that I haven't the foggiest about (Sorry Mr Oetting). It was a very interesting story - I think you'll find it pretty cool.

Tuesday was a bit of a hectic day. To set the stage: both Chris and Amy Chin had friends in the area and went to stay the night with them, we needed to be in Philadelphia the same day, and it was Election Day and I am a political junkie in the most accurate definition of the term. So, we HAD to be in our campground (was sure it had cable before booking!) by 6pm: when everything started. We started our day at 5:30. I went to fetch Amy Chin and we then picked up Chris who was in Rochester, which was on our way. I listened to CNN radio en route and we managed to get in around 5:30 that evening. Pizza was quickly ordered, and we hunkered down for a long night, which was undoubtedly filled with me providing incredibly interesting tidbits that were of course welcomed by my bus mates…

We all know how it went down, and lucky for me, it meant a slightly earlier night than I was anticipating, so sleep was had.

Wednesday was a workday. It was also a day where we would be re-united with our Steven. Chris wasn't feeling too well, so the Amys and I went into Philadelphia and found a Cosi to work. Great internet, not-so-great service. We worked away until Steven's train came in and then Amy Wallace and I left Amy Chin, who was going to be heading away for a few days to go to a job interview, and fetched Steven, who had been away for nearly two weeks.

It was great having Steven back - we heard all about his adventures, and described the precarious situations we had been in while he was away. Well, not that precarious… but we tried to make it interesting at least.

We headed to North Philadelphia on Thursday to do a piece on The Goodlands. North Philly is apparently known as 'The Badlands', so one organization has an after school program where they put cameras in the hands of elementary school kids, teach them the principles of photography, and encourage them to photograph their surroundings. It's a really cool program - I think you're going to really like this piece.

The four of us had another work day on Friday. We mostly stayed on the bus and were fairly productive. Plus, we had the luxury of having HGTV on in the background - how fancy!

Saturday saw us drive down to just outside Annapolis, MD to do a story on Dogs Finding Dogs - an incredible organization that finds lost pets with the help of dogs, horses, and other animals. It is such a cool program, and they have something like a 96% success rate! It's absolutely fascinating to see how they work - such a unique and interesting story. Anne, their founder was a delight and very interesting to talk with. This will be a fun one.

So ends another week for us here at Bus 52. Next week we will be shooting stories in Delaware and Connecticut, before taking a week off for Thanksgiving. We only have three more shooting weeks left! It's starting to set in to some of us that the project is beginning to come to an end. The last few weeks are key, and we don't want to slow down. We've shot 92 stories so far. Only eight more to go!