Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 18, 1976 · Page 40
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July 18, 1976

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 40

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, July 18, 1976
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Page 40
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I3C -July 18, 1976 Sunday Gaxelte-Mail ~ furleiloa West Virginia Cherished Cargo Arrives Home Safely After 36-Hour Ordeal By Peter H. King CHOWCHILLA, Calif. (AP) - A chorus of cheers and an explosion of flashbulbs greeted the chartered bus as it wheeled up to the Chowchilla government center. It was carrying a cherished cargo the 26 children and their bus driver who had vanished 36 hours before. The sleepy children, bewildered by the crowd of local people and reporters who greeted them, seemed unable to comprehend that their ordeal had captured the attention of the entire nation. As they filed out of the bus. some of the children smiled shyly and lowered their eyes to avoid the flashing cameras. * * * ONE OLDER BOY waved triumphantly as he walked off the bus. The younger children were carried off the bus by the four female and two male nurses who made the three-hour journey from the Santa Rita prison camp. After the children escaped from the buried truck in which they been sealed, Alameda County deputies took them to the nearby camp for medical examinations. With police holding back the throng, the youngsters, some clad in white prison jumpsuits, were rushed into the courtroom where their parents waited. Some of the children's clothing was taken by the abductors, and others' garments were heavily soiled, so officials gave them clean prison garb. As soon as parents located Jheir children, they happily headed for their homes. "You know how I feel," beamed Bill Parker to a reporter's question as he carried his 8-year-old daughter Barbara. She just grinned and said, "Hi." The tumultuous homecoming was in sharp contrast to the youths', quiet ride to Chowchilla. "The kids didn't talk much about their experience." said Walter Cairola of Walnut Creek, the driver of the chartered bus that brought the children home. "We just talked to them about small things, stuff like 'how are you feeling?' things like that to keep their minds off it." He said one little girl had a nightmare during the drive. "She woke up screaming, 'Please leave me alone, please leave me alone,'" he said. According to Bill Auff arth, 23. one of the nurses on board the homebound bus. the children were sleepy but in good spirits. He said they were proud of their escape. * * * "THERE WERE TWO or three of the boys they (the children) were calling heroes," he said, "including the bus driver." The school bus driver, Frank Edward Ray, 55, was "quiet and very calm" dur- ing the last leg of the long ordeal, Auffarth said. "1 can imagine how he must have felt," said Cairola. the driver of the homecoming bus, "having something like that happen on the bus he was d r i v i n g . . . We just talked about my bus a bit. He was pretty quiet. "It's such a sad story, but fortunately, it's one with a happy ending." Shy Girl Takes Cover Male Nurse Helps Child of Chowchilla, Calif., Couple on Way Home Family Leaves Police Station at End of Missing Persons Drama Who, Why Remain Mysteries CHOWCHILLA, Calif. (AP)- Police officials knew Saturday when and how 26 school children and their bus driver were kidnaped. But they don't know by whom. Nor why. In this farm town not far from the foot ' of the Sierras, conjecture sprouted like cotton in the adjacent fields. But it was just that. Conjecture. Ransom? Mayor James Dumas, a 59-year-old furniture dealer, said ransom was "a logical assumption.'' The three masked men who entombed their captives in a dirt-covered truck in a Livermore quarry, 90 miles north of here, asked each child his name, age, and names of his parents as they passed down a ladder into their prison. But that was about all the men said throughout their 11-hour cross-country wanderings with their captives. Police report no ransom messages. FBI spokesman Charles Bates said the abductors were wearing stocking masks and that they said little beyond ordering the children to the rear of the school bus before they were put into the vans. He would not speculate about a motive. Lee Roy Tatom, superintendant of the Dairyland School District where the, youngsters were attending a summer program, thought that if ransom were involved it might have been for political reasons. "Swapping people," he said. "Some of theirs for some of ours. I doubt it was for money. We're not a rich community." Political activists aged 35 or 40? - the ages given by James Ray, the bus driver. Tatom shrugged. Ray himself, red-eyed and still flecked with sand after 50 sleepless hours, said: "I don't know why they did it either" to a dramatic 5 a.m. news conference Saturday as the sky lightened above the mountains. Associated Press Wirephotos Mother of Missing Children Embraced Mrs. Frances Williams (Left) Hugs Barbara Kjostad Aerial View of Rock Quarry in Livermore, Calif. Children, Bus Driver Safe After 36-Hour Ordeal MR. HOUSE OF COMFORT Humidifirulion. Healing. \ i r r n m l h i n n i n g Controlled "Indoor Weather" with Darnold's Total Electric Indoor Comfort System B v R A Y D A R N O L D J R . Ever though! about having the tempera- lure and humidity in your home set a t the same t e m p e r a t u r e all year long? Not to mention having indoor air t h a t ishealthl'ully £ clean? |: It wouldn't he hard to live with, would it? f Well, it's now possible with Darnold's Total ·: Indoor Comfort System consist ing of electric { heating, nir conditioning; humklil'icntion. ·: and electronic air denning. ': The system starts with a good furnace. ! and if yours has about seen its day. we ': recommend the Williamson Electric fur- i nace. It's known for its long trouhle free life. i outstanding performance, and lower fuel ; hills. This is a good time of year to purchase : a furnace. Chances are you won't have to Ho ·· without heat.hecauseofourspeedyinstalla: lion. W i t h t h e W i l l i a m s o n furnace, too. · you'll save a considerable amount of floor : space in the basement due to its compact | size. You'll easily IK able to convert t h a t : freed space into an extra room, such as « j hedroom. workshop, or recreation mom. It's ; just like buying another room for your home when von h'iv a Williamson Electric fur- If you're interested in our total comfort system, ihe nest step is to install central air conditioning on the furnace. You'll he surprised how inexpensive a central system can he for your home. And cool air awl dehumidification are certainly something your family will appreciate. Step 3 of year a r o u n d control is the electronic air cleaner, a device thai is in- '· stalled on your furnace system and cleanses : theairelectrnnically. ; To c o m p l e t e the s y s t e m look i n t o the : purchase of a humidifier. This will provide · t h e necessary moisture in the air during I he : heating season. : Why not call us at Darnold. Inc. Ray · Damold.lr. will he glad to talk over any and : all your heating prohlems with you. We also j offer a h'REE Sl'RVEY of your home to : determine just wh.1! size and model Wil- \ liamson furnace system will do the nest job : lor you. There's no cihligatinn so call soon. '· We are located at 5I5 Third Ave. in Sout h | Charleston. If you would prefer to stop in : instead of calling. · They're Not Lost Anymore Children Relax in Classroom Bus Driver Home f. Frank Ray Jr. Unharmed ALSO MOBILE HOME FORCED AIR ELECTRIC FURNACES DARNOLD INCORPORATED 515 THIRD AVE. So. Charleston Ph. 7^4.1401

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