by Arnold Nelson

I first met Coach many years ago playing a game called Dice Rollers on what we called the bus. Dice rollers for those you don't know is kind of a cross between Yahtzee and Poker. It is play with five dice and you're trying to fill out Poker hands. It is a lot of fun. The Bus is on the site called The actual name of the room is The Bus Stop, but we just call it the Bus. We used to play in the evenings and we had a great time talking with others from all over the country and even some from other parts of the world. We enjoyed kidding around together and picking on each other and just enjoyed each others company.

Then one day Coach and another friend and a few others started playing early in the morning. They would start playing about five in the morning central time and playing for an hour or two until Coach had to go to work. When I moved from Arizona to Oklahoma I started playing with them in the mornings. In Arizona it was too early for me to get up and play with them, but it Oklahoma there was no problem. That was about 3 1/2 years ago when I moved. Now we have approximately 8 or 10 regular members about the same amount of semi regular members and probably 15 or 20 just coming in from time to time to say hi.

The bus, as we call it is probably the strangest bus you have ever see. It has a huge basement and we have big parties down there. We even had a goat and a hippopotamus stay there for a while. When a person has a low score we say there in the basement, that was how it all started. Sometimes some of the women will say they are cleaning up the basement when they're down there. The basement is always a mess and needs cleaning.

In this game if you get 800 points you get a spin and you get extra tokens. Sometimes wall paper and sometimes, if you are real lucky, even money. We used to have a friend named Al, he died recently, he was forever getting a score between 790 and 799, so Coach started calling that an Al. We have other names for things but that is the main one.

Coach is the Commissioner on the bus. He's the one that is always making rules, no matter what happens he has a rule for. It doesn't matter what rules Coach makes, nobody ever follows the rules anyway. It is just fun and something else to laugh at. Coach also hands out Goobers and Dillweeds for saying stupid things. It is an honor to get one. I have had more then my share.

Coach also has DVDs for just about anything you want and he will sell them to you for a buck two eighty plus postage and handling. Coach also comes up with some deep thoughts from time to time. One of my favorites is Why do we park on the driveway and drive on a parkway?

One nice thing about the bus is anytime someone is hurting the rest of us will gather around them and encourage them and help them any way we can. I am sure a lot of the regulars also say prayers for the others when they say their prayers everyday, I know I do. We share in each others sorrows as well as their happiness. It is just like one big happy family.

Coach started out in Chicago many years ago working for the BSNF railroad. He got tired of the cold and moved to the Dallas area with his wife,daughter and 2 sons in 1989. Coach retired in 2013 after working 34 years for the BSNF railroad. At first he didn't know what to do, he had nothing to do all day, then he started helping out at the senior center in town, at church and then started remodeling his house. Coach loves to do the demo then hires someone to rebuild it the way he wants it. He puts lots of pictures on Facebook so we can keep up on what he's doing.

I'm not really sure what Coach did for the railroad I do know that he called on customers that manufactured wind machines, he would fly all over the western United States and check out areas where people wanted to put the machines. Now he's retired he works for another company and does almost the same thing from home and still flies all over the West checking out areas for wind machines.

When Coach flies it is always a mess, before he leaves home he finds out what gate his plane is supposed to be at. When he gets to the airport he finds out they've changed the gate on him. Sometimes when he gets to the new gate he finds out they moved it again. I call it musical gates.

Some of his trips are really out in the middle of nowhere, like recently he went to one in the middle of the California desert. Actually he had two stops, there was one in the lower desert then he had to drive several hours to one in the high desert before he could fly home again. Other times he has some nice accommodations, one time recently he stayed in San Diego in a hotel right on the beach, now that is really roughing it.

When Coach moved to Dallas, for some reason he brought a snow shovel with him. A few years ago there was a snow and ice storm in Dallas, his swimming pool had ice on top. He took the shovel and was trying to break the ice, he ended up breaking the shovel instead. Part of it laid on the bottom of the pool, He finally got it out. It was years later before the got around to fixing it again. Now it just hangs on the wall of his garage.

He calls his wife Mrs. Coach. He says that she gives him a list every day of stuff he is supposed to do, but he never finishes the list. During the winter months he is always kidding the people that live up north about how nice Dallas is and how he has to mow his lawn all the time. The people of North don't even see their lawns for months at a time because of all the snow. During the summer months it gets reversed the people of North are saying how nice it is up North when we are burning up down south. It's all in fun.

Coach had three small dogs for many years, then one day he was walking in a park near his home, he found a stray dog that somebody abandoned. He took the dog home then he had four dogs. For a while he had five dogs. His son-in-law and daughter were watching a dog for friend. The son-in-law got a new job and had to move out of town so Coach took the dog in. A few weeks later the owner came and got the dog back. So Coach is back to four dogs. Coach likes to say Dogs are good people.

Coach is a big football fan who watches every game he can during the football season. He loves college games and pro games. He is a fan of the Chicago Bears. He is for anybody that plays against Dallas. He does not like Jerry, the owner of the Cowboys, one bit. I am not much of a football fan but I have recently started rooting for the Cowboys just so I have something else to pick on the coach about. Coach has a standing bet with his friend. If the Cowboys when more than eight games in a season he buys lunch if they win eight or less his friend buys lunch.

I have one more thing to say about Coach he loves to pick on people but when it comes time to be serious he can be serious too. One job he and his wife took on through their church is to talk to young couples who are thinking about getting married. In his church it is a prerequisite to getting married. The purpose of the program is to teach young couples there is a lot of life after the wedding and to help them plan for it.

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