Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Back in Time - Muncie, IN

Name Badges
International Thespian Society Conference
Ball State University
Muncie, IN
June 1976
Theater education was my college major; English and Speech education, my minor. Eventually, I would become certified in Journalism as well, but theater was my passion. I taught theater and directed plays for 8 years. When I returned from Japan, the school where I was hired already had a theater and speech instructor, and that is when I became the yearbook advisor; thus, resulting in becoming certified in journalism.

During my six years of teaching in Wheatland, I directed four or five three-act plays yearly, and a musical every other year. The three musicals I directed were: Oklahoma, South Pacific, Godspell, and each production presented a unique challenge. I was blessed to work with two strong music teachers who handled that part of the productions.

My theater students were dedicated and talented, and the Thespian Society was a vibrant organization at the school. I became the State Director and eventually a Regional Director for the Society.

In 1976, I chaperoned three of my own students and a bus load of students from other Wyoming schools on a trip to Muncie, IN. Lois Sackman the International Director of the Thespian Society was from Riverton. She had to be in Muncie early and requested I chaperone the chartered bus from Wyoming to Muncie. Lois stated the bus would be traveling straight-thru with only stops for gas. I agreed, thinking it was something I could easily manage.

The trip went well, until the driver decided to take a detour to Chicago. We were supposed to come back through Chicago and spend a couple of nights, so I thought it was odd, but who was I to argue with the driver. We pulled into the Chicago bus station, and the driver told us to stay on the bus while he was gone.

Okay. . .

The station manager arrived about 20 minutes later and demanded that the bus be moved because he had other buses scheduled to arrive and didn't need this "junk heap" in the station. I told him our driver had brought us there unexpectedly and then left.

He asked where we were headed, and when I told him, he shook his head and said he would not allow us to continue in the "junk heap."

The students and I must have looked pretty pathetic because he scrounged up a new driver and a bus so we could continue on the trip. I never did find out what happened to our original driver or the "junk heap," but I was certainly happy when we arrived at Ball State for the conference because once there, I was only responsible for my three students and not the entire Wyoming contingent.


  1. How strange that a bus driver would do something like that. Makes a good story though. Glad you didn't have to go the rest of the way in that junk heap. Loved that part.

  2. Holy moly! You never found out where he went? LOL

  3. Did anybody check the adult beverages area? Ha. Wow...what a strange turn of events. I think it was a good thing that you got a new driver...and evidently, a bus that was in better shape! I agree, what a story!! It's so wonderful that you had such dedicated, excited theater students in Wheatland!

  4. Another lost in Chicago story!! Kind of scary!!

  5. Wow. That's quite a story. I'm glad it had a happy ending!

  6. That's a horror story but so funny! I would have HAD to find out what happened to the first driver and the junk heap. lol. Nancy, I had no idea of the things you have done. I would love to sit down with you to knit and sip tea and hear your life stories!!

  7. Alls well that ends well, what an adventure. I bet you were a good teacher Nancy:)

  8. Good grief-you were abandoned at the Chicago bus station??!


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