Volume 74, Number 17 | August 25 - 31 , 2004

Villager photos by Robert Stolarik

They’ll take the bus

For the past few months, Tony Ryan and his dog, Billy Hazel, have been living on the streets of the East Village in a 1958 Chevrolet Viking school bus Ryan bought on e-Bay for $1,000. After driving the bus from Kansas to the East Village, with the help of artist Mark Enger, Ryan painted it blue, red and yellow, with steer skull motifs on the windows. The newly painted bus is for sale for $60,000 — Ryan would get 15 percent of the sale price, Enger, the artist, the rest. Last Sunday, Ryan, 35, was parked outside La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez on E. Ninth St. and Avenue C. He has lived in the East Village for three years, his last apartment being on First Ave. If he doesn’t find a buyer, he plans to take off on a road trip in November for Alabama with a bus full of friends. A personal trainer and aspiring musician, Ryan hosts open-mic events in the East Village. Starting Aug. 2 until he hits the road, he’ll be leading Thursday night open-mics at 7 p.m. at Creative Little Garden on E. Sixth St., between Avenues A and B. As for why he decided to start camping out in a bus, he said, “I’m from Oklahoma bro,” adding that it recalled summer vacation trips. So far, police haven’t given him any problems, he said. “The best part is hearing the conversations on the street at 3 a.m.,” he said.

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