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'Cool Bus' takes North Idaho

by MOLLY ROBERTS
Staff Reporter | January 27, 2023 5:12 AM

Famed actress Mae West once said, "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."

Silver Valley native Jayson Frank is living life right by turning an amusing idea into reality using a Type-A bus, also known as a shorter school bus, into the perfect date night vehicle.

"I've wanted a specific short bus like this for probably seven or eight years," Frank said. "I saw a Boy Scout troop in Glacier National Park load up one morning and head out for adventures. So I knew at that point I had to have one."

Frank's wife had reservations about owning a bus, but Frank said, "After years of begging my wife, she finally let me buy one."

The bus was found in Medford, Ore., and with the help of one of Frank's employees, it was picked up and brought to North Idaho.

"I had the transmission rebuilt, but other than that, the heat works great, the lights work, the fancy school bus door works, and the emergency door even dings when you open it up. I couldn't believe it."

Frank plans to add some cool horns, lights and a loud stereo to give the bus a fun vibe.

"My idea is to take a group of people, sometimes friends, sometimes strangers, and have group dates where we can get to know other people and enjoy one another's company,” Frank said. “The bus isn't for hire, but just for having lots of fun."

The bus isn’t for hire due to insurance purposes, but Frank is open to people reaching out who want to join.

The first group date on the bus was last Friday night, with a successful outing to a popular sushi place, Shiki.

"After a month of owning the bus, my wife and I picked up six different couples, some family, some friends, and went to downtown Coeur d'Alene."

Frank grew up in the Silver Valley, living in Pinehurst and attending Pinehurst Elementary, where he enjoyed his formative years growing up in the beautiful area.

"I went to middle school in Kellogg and went to Kellogg High School. I have so many great memories growing up in the valley, playing with friends, swimming in the river, jumping off the silver bridge and playing sports. I had an incredible childhood."

Frank and his family now live in Dalton Gardens but still have many ties to the valley, visiting family, working, recreating and hanging out at their cabin up in Burke.

Frank plans to bring his bus to the Silver Valley for the all-class reunion this summer in Kellogg and try some of the delicious restaurants in the area.

"I have heard and seen great things about the Outlaw Burger, I need to try it,” Frank said. “BlackBoard Cafe' is our go-to in Wallace."

If you are interested in checking out the ‘cool bus’ for a group date night, call Jayson Frank at 208-651-5666.

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