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Grandfather Buys School Bus To Transport His 10 Grandchildren

NOEL KING, HOST:

Doug Hayes was looking for a way to drive all 10 of his grandkids to school, and he found one. He bought his own little yellow school bus. First, though, it needed a name on the side.

DOUG HAYES: Well, we just couldn't let it simply say school bus. That wouldn't be right. We called it the Grandfather Express.

KING: Doug prefers grandfather to grandpa. He gave it to the kids just before the holidays.

HAYES: We had it hidden down the street. And I brought it up, and they were surprised and thrilled.

KING: Surprised and thrilled, maybe a little confused.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #1: Is that it?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #2: No.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #1: What?

KING: The Hayes family recorded the big moment, and they shared this video with us.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: What's that say?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #3: Grandfather Express?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: What is it?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #4: You got a bus?

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Go check out your bus, guys.

KING: Five of Doug's 10 grandkids go to the same school in Gladstone, Ore., but that school doesn't offer buses. Next year, two more of them will start their days with Doug aboard the Grandfather Express.

HAYES: They have always talked about I wish we could go on a bus (laughter) and that's what kind of started the idea.

KING: Doug's wife Amy teaches kindergarten at the school. It's a few miles from their house, so she plans to drive herself because teachers have to get there so much earlier. Doug will only be making the morning run to school because he needs to get himself to work by 8:30, but the pickup schedule is all planned out.

HAYES: The first one will be 7 in the morning and then another one at 7:20, and then we'll be there for the drop-off before 8.

KING: The first voyage of the Grandfather Express is scheduled for January 6 when the kids go back to school. And Doug told us this is just as much a present for him as for the kids.

HAYES: Well, I think it's mostly for me, frankly. It's kind of selfish really (laughter) because I get to spend so much time with them.

KING: Doug Hayes of Gladstone, Ore., spoken like a true grandpa - sorry, grandfather.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #5: Awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #6: Oh, my goodness.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #7: We get to ride in the bus.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #8: I've never been in a school bus.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #9: This is awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #10: So cool. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.