calls for Sherrard VW bus
Georgia Fordham of
Sherrard stands on her lawn with her Volkswagen Bus collection
behind her. From left are Hollywood (Holly for short), Jade
and Lizzy. Ms. Fordham is a member of the Buskatiers, a
national group of VW Bus enthusiasts, and her Holly recently
landed a role in an upcoming Steve Martin
By David Heitz, staff
Something about the Volkswagen Bus makes
Georgia Fordham of Sherrard said a huge grin
rolled across her face when 20th Century Fox called two weeks ago
and offered her $1,000 in exchange for the use of one of her VW
Buses in a Steve Martin flick.
The studio found Ms.
Fordham's shocking-orange-and-blinding-white Bus through Cars in America, an
Internet-based business that specializes in matching classic-car
owners with moviemakers.
``All of this is pretty exciting
for a small-town girl,'' said Ms. Fordham, a 1983 Rock Island High
School graduate who lives in Sherrard. ``It has been stressful, as
well as unbelievable.''
The movie, ``Cheaper by the Dozen,''
is scheduled to open Dec. 25. It stars Mr. Martin as a successful
small-town football coach who gets an offer to lead a Big Ten team.
Filmmakers kept Ms. Fordham's Bus on their Chicago set from
June 22 to June 25. ``I was worried the whole time she was in
Chicago,'' Ms. Fordham said. ``I never let anyone drive my
The tale of how she came to own her 1973 bus,
which she named Hollywood, is a long story about a little-known
group called the Buskatiers.
The Buskatiers is a federation of folks (or ``Volks,'' if you
will) who have a romance going with the VW Bus, the unofficial
vehicle of the free spirit.
Ms. Fordham always has had a
thing for Volkswagens. When she turned 16, her parents presented her
with keys to a 1973 Thing, a short-lived model that resembled a neon
moon buggy. Hers was orange, and she named it O.J.
later, she replaced O.J. with another Thing and continued her love
affair with the German automakerís products. When the information
highway made it possible for even the owners of broken-down Bugs to
find each other, VW owners began to form groups.
Buskatiers, a group that showed Ms. Fordham a good time last Labor
Day weekend at an event in Missouri's Ozark Mountains called BNNTA
-- Buses No Near the Arch.
Although she had a Thing, Miss
Fordham needed a VW Bus to become a Buskatier. So a few months ago,
she bought Hollywood, or Holly for short. ``Buses are awesome,'' she
said. ``They're roomy, better on the highway than the smaller VWs,
and you can camp in them.''
And ownership means you get to
be a Buskatier.
Just last week, fellow Buskatier Gerland
Livingston, a Houston man, made a ``Bus'' stop at Ms. Fordham's
As part of a complicated Bus trafficking deal, he
came to the Quad-Cities to pick up a vehicle purchased from another
Buskatier in Michigan. That Buskatier delivered a 1970-something
model equipped with a stove and fridge to Ms. Fordham's house, and
Mr. Livingston took it from there.
He planned to drive the
Bus, named ``Melvin,'' back to Texas. As if Melvin, a rickety yellow
paint-splattered Bus, hasn't covered enough ground already.
Melvin sports plenty of souvenirs from his umpteen previous
A Haight-Asbury sticker advertises San Francisco's
hippie district. Another sun-faded decal looks like a Pepsi logo,
but a closer inspection reveals that ``Peace'' has been superimposed
over the familiar red-white-and-blue trademark. Various images of
dancing, technicolor turtles dot Melvin, and plastered across the
rear window is an advertisement for the Grateful Dead.
his way back to Texas with Melvin, Mr. Livingston planned to stay
with some fellow Buskatiers in Omaha. He also planned to stop in
Kansas to deliver some specially made curtain rods to a Buskatier
who wants some privacy on his Bus.
It's sure to be a long,