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Buster the School Bus

Posted on Monday, August 25th, 2008.

Misty Matern and her 15 year-old son Comfrey Biafra Jacobs sit casually across from each other at the MobileBooth table. Before the conversation starts, Comfrey entertains both Misty and I with some beat boxing. When I press record, Comfrey is ready to listen to a story he knows very well: Buster the School Bus. Misty birthed Comfrey in this bus all by herself at 1:50 am on March 21, 1993. It still sits – charming, rusty, and visible from the highway – in their front yard in Palisade.

When Misty found out she was pregnant, she bought the 1953 converted Chevy Short school bus for $500 and left Denver for the countryside. The bus had orange shag carpeting and lots of olive green. “It was ugly, but I saw potential,” Misty says with a nostalgic smirk.

Buster the School Bus

She parked Buster on Gold Hill Road and turned the bus into a home. “There used to be a bed that took up half of it, two closets in the back, a desk, a small stove and a small sink area which had pipes that ran into a five gallon bucket to catch waste water. There was also an outhouse.”

The night Misty gave birth to Comfrey she was reading Dr. Seuss when her water broke. Comfrey’s father left the bus to bring the midwife in a hurry. Five minutes later they returned. It was too late. “There we were,” she says to Comfrey, “Standing there. I was shaking from head to toe, holding a baby that to my relief opened his mouth and screamed his head off. The dogs licked you clean.”

Misty Matern and her son Comfrey Biafra Jacobs

Since the birth, Misty and Comfrey have moved into a larger home on Highway 6. The bus now rests between a pick-up truck and a trampoline, a cozy respite for pregnant cats. “I will never sell the bus,” Misty says with certainty. “It runs fantastic. The engine is in perfect shape. It needs tires. It needs brakes. It needs a clutch.”

“Sometimes I sit in the driver’s seat to escape the chaos of the house,” says Comfrey. “I always had a vision that if I got a good band started with my friends, we would use it as a tour bus.” Misty welcomes this idea.

Comfrey Biafra Jacobs

3 Responses to “Buster the School Bus”

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  • Well this story leaves a lot out including me the father of Comfrey and Husband to Misty. It was a special birth for all of us and I’m glad to have gotten the stupid midwife (I left to guide her at Misty’s insistence and not a bad idea) Pamala in in time to help deliver the placenta and cut the cord which we saved.and made prints with the placenta, Regarding the prints I made I still they were awesome. We gave ourselves a discount on the Midwife payments though we were trained well and all came out fine. You do not need a hospital for normal births. Our first upgrade to a cabin was a good story too. Comfrey is a herb that healed me naturally. Comfrey was born naturally with no birth certificate or social security card. He came free and I hope he dies free. “Biafra” refers to the region in Nigeria where the British and the Americans set up an embargo causing millions to die. It all so honors the punk performer named Jello Biafra. I love my son and hope he will continue to contribute to society and practice creativity.

    Comment from Michael Jacobs on October 23, 2008 at 2:14 am - Reply to this Comment
  • What a great story! They are idiosyncratic and independent…true Americans! It must have been such fun to get to know them!

    Comment from Jeremy on August 27, 2008 at 8:41 am - Reply to this Comment
  • Great people, fantastic story.

    Comment from Phil on August 25, 2008 at 11:11 am - Reply to this Comment

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