by Zach Maskell
Recently our Zack Maskell literally stumbled across a family traveling the country in a very artistic “mobile home”. Call it a tiny house, an RV, or a bus… that’s on top of a bus, it truly is a horse…or a house…of a different color. So let’s go over the edge with Zach… and enjoy the simple life… living as a highway nomad.
ZACH MASKELL: If a Chevrolet and a Volkswagen had a baby… would it grow up to look like this? It’s a 1953 Chevy school bus… with a 1969 VW Bus on top of it… which allows for more head room… and a bed.
“’Creative talent is only achieved when passion is coupled with hard work’ That’s one of my favorite artists once told me, I happen to be wearing his shirt right now… Keegan Sweeny. I think he would definitely agree that this family is living up to that motto.”
JEANNETTE APPLAUSO: “The kids go ‘Mommy, Mommy, look, look. Look at this big bus… let’s go talk to these people.”
LEROY HERR: “It’s here for you to just smile at and enjoy. It’s actually here for you”
ZACH MASKELL: Dubbed the “Dragonfly Bus” by a trucker in Nebraska. He says it drags up hills, but flies down them. Artist, Heather Platon and husband, LeRoy Herr, who’s a mechanic by trade travel with their two kids and dog, Moonshine. They use it to spread respect, freedom, and of course…love.
HEATHER PLATEN: “We live full time in the bus. It’s a tiny home and mobile pop up art gallery. We invite people inside to check out the bus we want to talk about sustainable living what it’s like to be on the road, how it is to live in a tiny house. We try to bring people together… lighten the mood and the country make people smile.”
ZACH MASKELL: Staying off the grid for six years, building and living in this bus the last two, they stay at national parks sometimes two weeks at a time.
LEROY HERR/ HEATHER PLATEN: “40 hours a week making somebody else’s money doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me.”
ZACH MASKELL: The couple stresses to students in art classes across the U.S. that a 30-year home mortgage isn’t for everyone. For them, spending more time with their kids and being forced to go outside is far more rewarding.
LEROY HERR: $100 to me, in the position that I’ve put myself in, is a lot.
ZACH MASKELL: They don’t just buy something new when it breaks. If it can be fixed, they fix it.
LEROY HERR: “So this is a 40-gallon water cistern. And then I use this pump here to pump the tank, to pump pressure up in the tank to get me water.”
ZACH MASKELL: Using solar panels to power the refrigerator and lights, along with resources from the woods… they remain mostly self-sufficient.
LEROY HERR: “This is where I put my wood in here. The wood fire cook stove.. is awesome.”
ZACH MASKELL: So it was only natural that a vehicle this unique ventured to our local cars and coffee in Maryland…to see and feel the vibes this bus spreads at Hunt Valley Horsepower.
ERIC LEE: “I think it’s cool. It reminds me of Woodstock.”
TARA WHITLOW: “Just you looking at this and you asking yourself what’s in there, you being curious yourself, you’re kind of opening your mindset towards art.”
ZACH MASKELL: Activating the higher consciousness. Your imagination and emotions… everything is tied together. So, art could be the accelerant. To get the wheels turning upstairs… they allow anyone… to draw anything… anywhere on the bus. Why? because you can’t confine creativity.
HEATHER PLATEN: Janis Joplin, somebody in Alexandria, he looked at me and said, please put Janis Joplin on your bus. So I started on her right away. And then Bruce Lee, another suggestion. I could not go to one town without people demanding, angrily, that I put Jerry on the bus.”
HEATHER PLATEN: This is the first piece that ever went on the bus. This was done by somebody else in Austin, Texas.
ZACH MASKELL: Should you meet the Dragonfly bus, get more artistic than me, and who knows… how many states or people it will spread to… and positively impact.