Along for the Ride

by Torry Martin

Dear B. Log,

Things are a-changin’ around here. Bradford announced he’s retiring from butler service and agreed to be the new manager for Barn Again Arts. He’s moving to Odyssey! How cool is that? In fact, he may be living in my basement apartment.

Just between you and me, though, I don’t think he’ll be living in the apartment for very long. I heard from a very reliable secret anonymous source that a marriage proposal will happen in the near future.

Who is my “very reliable source,” you ask? Well, I can’t tell you. The source wanted to remain anonymous, which I think is a type of animal related to the platypus.

But I can tell you that Bradford already proposed to Miss Willow nearly 50 years ago when they were working as spies in England. That’s still hard for me to believe. I mean, not that they were nearly married—the fact they were spies!

On Easter Sunday in 1962, Bradford proposed to Miss Willow on a red London double-decker bus owned by his father, Barnabas Manners. Bradford asked his father to drive the couple on a romantic tour of London and deposit them in front of Buckingham Palace.

Unfortunately, unbeknownst to Bradford, Miss Willow found out the spy agency was transferring her to Germany the next day. She wasn’t allowed to tell Bradford about her new assignment, so she turned down his proposal with no explanation. Poor Bradford.

Enough talk about romance. What I really want to announce is the new project Bradford and I are working on at Barn Again Arts.

Miraculously, Bradford tracked down and purchased the very same London double-decker bus owned by his father all those years ago. It looks pretty beat up right now, but we know that with a lot of hard work we can restore it to its former glory.

The goal is to use it as a shuttle that will run between Whit’s End and Barn Again Arts. We’re naming it the Barn A. Bus, after Bradford’s dad.

You see, Bradford’s father always encouraged young Bradford to pursue his dreams. Bradford probably would not have attended the London Butler Academy without his dad’s encouragement. Now Bradford’s wants to use his dad’s old bus to bring encouragement to others. He hopes that by providing transportation to Barn Again Arts, people will be encouraged to explore their creative talents. Neat, huh?

That reminds me of Barnabas in the Bible. Everywhere he went, he encouraged people. He put courage into the hearts of men and women, and it changed the lives of many. That’s a quality we should all want.

I just realized something: I get to be a Barnabas to the son of a Barnabas who is driving a Barn A. Bus! Phew, that’s a lot of encouragement going around. See you later!

This article first appeared in the March 2012 issue of Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Torry Martin. Used by permission. Illustration © Gary Locke.