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Bus-related "Kramden" trivia/Brooklyn days
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:43 am    Post subject: Bus-related "Kramden" trivia/Brooklyn days Reply with quote

Fellow Brothers of the Highly Esteemed Raccoon Lodge:

Last night, I dug out my dog-eared copy of "THE OFFICIAL HONEYMOONERS TREASURY", and came across a few interesting bus-related tidbits:

In the "Lost 75" episodes (these were the "Honeymooners" skits and episodes first performed on the hour-long "Jackie Gleason Show" which aired on CBS from 1952 to 1955 and from 1956 to 1957), Ralph, we are told, "........wore a variety of bus driver's uniforms........"

That, in itself, is interesting to think about!

Interesting note: the RAPLH organization is in pocession of the "genuine article" (Ralph's bus driver's uniform) sent to them personally by the Great One Himself......what an honor!

Way to go, Ralphie-boy! Wink

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:44 pm; edited 8 times in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, the aforementioned book, there is a photo of the original TWU badge worn by Ralph (now in the RALPH archives)

Also, here is some interesting dialogue from "The Sleepwalker"

(Ralph is reading, to Alice, a letter to him from the Vice President of the Gotham Bus Company):

".....am leaving for Detroit noon tomorrow to purchase fleet of new buses. Would you like to accompany me and give bus driver's opinion regarding maneuvarability, performance, and so forth....." (I guess the Gotham Bus Company was purchasing new GMC's!) Rolling Eyes

Sure wish we could have gone along on THAT trip! Very Happy

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the same letter, Alice remarks: "Ralph, writing an anonymous letter to the boss saying his buses are broken-down pieces of junk is not my idea of mechanical ability!"

With that remark, it would seem Alice just boarded the Gotham Bus Company's "TO THE MOON" express!! Rolling Eyes Very Happy Laughing

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back around 1955, the WOLVERINE toy company offered a tin "JACKIE GLEASON BUS"; the body shell was also used for several other bus types, which I have in my collection today.

The JG bus had a destination sign reading; "AWA-A-Y WE GO BUS", and a lisence plate reading "POW!"

"HONEYMOONERS SPECIAL" is also lithographed on the bus (the bus measured a little more than 12")

Needless to say, this is a VERY desireable and PRICEY collectible toy bus (WHEN you can find one, that is!

Even in shoddy condition, be expected to pay a hefty price tag......... Shocked Shocked Shocked

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not the original "Gleason" bus, but I am sure that that the illustrious Ralph Kramden, if he were still with us today, would not at all mind getting behind the wheel of the present #2629....... Wink

"AND AAAWWWAAAYYYY WE GO!!"

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3034

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3013

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3014

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotham Bus Company:

9th Avenue at 48th St., Manhattan.

(......I've always wondered where the Company's fleet was stabled/maintained, unless the garage was adjacent to the offices........) Rolling Eyes

"NYO"
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
Gotham Bus Company:

9th Avenue at 48th St., Manhattan.

(......I've always wondered where the Company's fleet was stabled/maintained, unless the garage was adjacent to the offices........) Rolling Eyes

That would have been six blocks south of the New York City Omnibus (later Fifth Avenue Coach Lines, then MaBSTOA) depot/garage at 9th Avenue and 54th Street. NYCO's (and Fifth Avenue Coach's) HQ were at 605 West 132nd Street - adjacent to FACCo's 132nd Street depot (at the site of the present Manhattanville depot). 'Twas thus for obvious reasons that the "Gotham Bus" address was given as it was.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B. Fishbowl wrote:
NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
Gotham Bus Company:

9th Avenue at 48th St., Manhattan.

(......I've always wondered where the Company's fleet was stabled/maintained, unless the garage was adjacent to the offices........) Rolling Eyes

That would have been six blocks south of the New York City Omnibus (later Fifth Avenue Coach Lines, then MaBSTOA) depot/garage at 9th Avenue and 54th Street. NYCO's (and Fifth Avenue Coach's) HQ were at 605 West 132nd Street - adjacent to FACCo's 132nd Street depot (at the site of the present Manhattanville depot). 'Twas thus for obvious reasons that the "Gotham Bus" address was given as it was.


W.B:

I THOUGHT (but was not at all sure) that the location of the Gotham Bus Company's garage would have have had SOME connection to the site of the NYO/FACCo. garage.....I see I was heading in the right direction Wink

I'd love to see a detailed "mock" history done up on the Gotham Bus Company, done by someone who is not only an avid (and knowledgeable!) bus enthusiast, as well as a great "Honeymooners" fan; I'd love to see the roster, that's for sure! Very Happy

One cannot help wondering if the GBC ever operated double-deckers at some point (just imagine Ralph behind the wheel of an open-topper or a "Queen Mary"!)

THAT scenario could have been QUITE interesting, to say the least...... Wink

"NYO"
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
I THOUGHT (but was not at all sure) that the location of the Gotham Bus Company's garage would have have had SOME connection to the site of the NYO/FACCo. garage.....I see I was heading in the right direction Wink

I'd love to see a detailed "mock" history done up on the Gotham Bus Company, done by someone who is not only an avid (and knowledgeable!) bus enthusiast, as well as a great "Honeymooners" fan; I'd love to see the roster, that's for sure! Very Happy

One cannot help wondering if the GBC ever operated double-deckers at some point (just imagine Ralph behind the wheel of an open-topper or a "Queen Mary"!)

THAT scenario could have been QUITE interesting, to say the least...... Wink

Doubt it - he usually handled the Madison Avenue route, but in one Classic 39 episode ("Brother Ralph"), after a layoff was over he was assigned an unspecified crosstown route (an equivalent to 18 - 86th Street Crosstown? That route was the one on which the original 2969 usually plied - and it was stored at the same depot [100th Street, now known as Tuskegee Airmen] from which that route, and the two Madison lines [1 and 2], were assigned).
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B. Fishbowl wrote:
NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
I THOUGHT (but was not at all sure) that the location of the Gotham Bus Company's garage would have have had SOME connection to the site of the NYO/FACCo. garage.....I see I was heading in the right direction Wink

I'd love to see a detailed "mock" history done up on the Gotham Bus Company, done by someone who is not only an avid (and knowledgeable!) bus enthusiast, as well as a great "Honeymooners" fan; I'd love to see the roster, that's for sure! Very Happy

One cannot help wondering if the GBC ever operated double-deckers at some point (just imagine Ralph behind the wheel of an open-topper or a "Queen Mary"!)

THAT scenario could have been QUITE interesting, to say the least...... Wink

Doubt it - he usually handled the Madison Avenue route, but in one Classic 39 episode ("Brother Ralph"), after a layoff was over he was assigned an unspecified crosstown route (an equivalent to 18 - 86th Street Crosstown? That route was the one on which the original 2969 usually plied - and it was stored at the same depot [100th Street, now known as Tuskegee Airmen] from which that route, and the two Madison lines [1 and 2], were assigned).


W.B.:

In that episode, we learn that Ralph had been laid of two or three times previously; also, that he had then been driving a bus for 15 years.

That would have meant that Ralph started driving about 1940; this would have been when single-deck YELLOW buses were popular with many operators, and also, when the very earliest Old Looks (Yellows) began entering service.

In 1940 YELLOW delivered a prototype bus to FACCo; this was a TD-5401; it had been designed in 1939 and designated TD-55, with a seating capacity of that number.

The seating was then reduced to 54, for the installation of an emergency door.

At over 41 feet long, this big bus was YELLOW's single-level answer to the double decker.

(info source: "NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT BUSES" (Guy E. Martin)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two more buses that a certain Mr. Kramden would have looked right at home driving........ Wink

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3626 *

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?1381

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)

*Note the grossly incorrect date of the photo (c. 1935)
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3626 *
(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)

*Note the grossly incorrect date of the photo (c. 1935)

Yeah . . . that model would date that pic to 1947-48. As that was when the TDH-4507's were put into service.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B. Fishbowl wrote:
NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3626 *
(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)

*Note the grossly incorrect date of the photo (c. 1935)

Yeah . . . that model would date that pic to 1947-48. As that was when the TDH-4507's were put into service.


W.B.:

I was thinking the same thing.

This would have also been just prior to when the first Old Looks with paired windows would have been on the assembly line (1948?)

Too, I think it interesting to remember that the paired window Old Looks were a huge "break" from the square window design that originated on the original YELLOW models.

And, in many cities, square window Old Looks remained in service for two decades (at least) after the last new buses entered service bearing YELLOW nameplates.....

"NYO"

"NYO"
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frankie



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To this day, I consider it a travesty for the city of New York to have used the one and only preserved TDH-5101 for the Jackie Gleason bus. This bus should have been kept in its original paint scheme when it was first delivered. I sure there were other candidates the city could have used that actually resembled the one Gleason is seen posing from. If not from the historic fleet, then search the country for one suitable for the conversion. They are out there!

If the city is to preserve historic buses, then they need to do it in a way to reflect buses as they were originally delivered. Granted some of the oldest have been re-engined which I understand, but if you're going to be as close to original, then little things like actual destination curtains and their placement needs to be addressed. What's with micro-lettering on the buses along 42nd Street? And how much effort does it take to switch the curtains on the 6000 series Mack signed for the Williamsburg Bridge? The route should be on the curbside.

Granted NYC may have the largest preserved fleet, but if you check out other cities who also have their own historic fleet, you can't help to appreciate the effort that they put into them to look as original as possible.

Frankie
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankie:

I could not agree more, my friend....you are SPOT ON, 100%!

All one has to do is to look at any of a number of original "HONEYMOONERS" publicity stills, and it is QUITE obvious that the "Jackie Gleason" bus of today does NOT look like the ones in the old publicity shots; at the VERY least, the present "Gleason" bus should have been painted to pay homage to the original.....IF another suitable vehicle could not be obtained to be repainted into the old "HONEYMOONERS"-era paint..

On this one, I am sure quite a few "HONEYMOONERS" fans (and we are a legion!) would love to see today's museum bus repainted/restored to its original appearances, as it appeared in the old publicity shots.

I also agree with you on restoring historic buses back to the original state as much as is possible; wrong signage fonts, inaccurate paint schemes, etc., can do much to take away from even the most handsomely repainted/refurbished vintage (and historic) bus........

"NYO"
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