Stormy Weather (Since My Van and I…)

Submitted by Frank “Boots” Butenschon (AKO ’58-’60) with sincere apologies to the guys on the band during these events and super apologies for any error in memory by a 74-year-old cat who loves the Auburn Knights and all the precious memories.

It was a really bad night of storms and buckets of rain when the famous Auburn Knights Orchestra finished a really big Saturday night gig at Stetson University in Deland, Florida. We loaded up the bus and set sail for the lovliest village, little knowing what lay ahead.

This was when they were putting the interstate in down there and there was road construction everywhere. Well, the windshield wipers on Agnes the bus would make one pass about every five seconds, not making for the best visibility during a storm.

We came to a blockade and the guy there told us to turn left and go down to the third flambeau lantern, take a right and it would lead us back to the main road. Somebody miscounted, because when we finally saw what we thought was the third flambeau, we turned right and all of a sudden, things were slapping the side of the bus like crazy.

Hank Elliott (AKO ’54-’59) told somebody to get out and see where we were. We were right in a huge orange grove!

While we sat there, the bus settled down in the sandy soil and when Hank tried to back out—pow! The axle broke.

Well, we shut her down and everybody settled in to get some sleep. We woke up the next morning with airplanes flying over and some farmers with guns and dogs trying to figure out what the h— A blue and white bus was doing in their orange grove!

After we assured them we were not aliens, it was decided that a few would hitch to Daytona Beach, rent cars and come back so we could get back to Auburn because it was finals week.

The rescue party returned with only two sedans. It took all the cash just to get two. After some really intense arguing and discussion it was decided that Jim “Teeny” Mahaffey and I think maybe Herb Edwards and Hank Elliot would stay and get the bus fixed and return to Auburn, which I think was the next Tuesday or Wednesday.

I know Teeny failed one or two courses because the school would not excuse them. What I can’t really figure out is how all of the rest of the band got back in two cars. Oh, well! The Lord sometimes blacks out really bad things!

Just another example of the glory of life on the road with the Auburn Knights.

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