Weston Withers stands on Dec. 22 in the bus that his late nephew Merle Coldwell was building before his death.
Merle Coldwell wanted to show his sweetheart the wonders of America last summer before she went blind – a grand gesture for a man of limited financial means and a weak heart.
Coldwell didn’t let those obstacles get in the way: He bought an old, yellow school bus, named it Gracie, and went to work in two metered parking spots outside the Dresden Apartments along North Monroe Street in Spokane. He painted it white and red, like a Valentine. Coldwell raised the roof and covered the sides with cedar shingles.
Every weld, every nail was guided by his singular purpose: to get on the road by summer with Neoma Smith, who had glaucoma and cataracts and whom he called his wife although they were never legally married. More.
Alas, no happy ending to this love story. What's the most romantic gesture you've ever received or offered?