Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life

Busman’s Holiday

One day in 1947, NYC bus driver William Cimillo showed up to his daily bus route, but instead of turning left, he turned right. Over the next week, he traveled 1,300 miles in his municipal bus, ending up in Hollywood, Florida. The bus had broken down, he’d run out of money, and had no way of getting home. Plus, he was now the most wanted bus driver in the country.

When Cimillo sent a telegram to his boss back in New York, they alerted the authorities and two detectives were dispatched to Florida to arrest Cimillo and drive the bus back home. The city hailed him as a folk hero, he was on the news, in magazines, and a guest on television talk shows. But there was a side of the story never told. Today on the show, we hear from Cimillo’s two sons Richard and Dennis, and the effect their father’s impromptu road trip had on their childhood.

This story originally aired on This American Life.

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