When we first decided to give away our bus in a contest, we actually had some concerns that no one would be interested. We think she is beautiful, but we look at her with parents' eyes and can see no wrong. Others might not be so kind, or might not want the responsibility of maintaining her and feeding her thirsty belly a few times a year.
We were wrong. We got so many more responses than we expected. Current students, former students, future students, never-were students, current A&M employees, fraternities, sports team coaches, and even some well-meaning Alabama fans reached out to us. People saw it as a tailgate machine, a food truck, a mode of transportation, a means of outreach to those less fortunate, and even a tiny house. We were overwhelmed. The process of reading, reviewing, and whittling down all of these entries was daunting, and we felt terrible that we didn't have a fleet of buses to give away.
In the end one entry stood out. Not just because it was sent to us as a 41(!) page Google Doc, though that cannot be ignored. It was a tale of a group of Ags told chaotically through paragraphs, bullet-points, personal bios, and so many photos of them hiking, posing with Von Miller, sporting a fake (?) "NO RAGRETS" tattoo, and making out with a cheetah. Their names and the entry are being redacted at their request, because I assume at least one of them is wanted for impersonating a judge.
Our reasons remain our own for the selection, but for myself honestly I can say that the reason I voted for them is they reminded me of us back when we built the bus: wild, drunken, adventurous, and vaguely ambitious without too specific a purpose. You know, good people. The kind of people who will make sure she lives on as she was meant to, and probably do new things with her we never thought of. Probably dirty things, honestly.
Thank you again, sincerely, to everyone who reached out with an entry. Your stories were wonderful, and hilarious, and heartwarming, and more than once a little confusing, and we deeply wish we could have given the bus to all of you.
Thanks and Gig 'em!