After 60 weeks, Buses & Beer is taking a break this summer, and this is a good sign for the industry, says Jeff Goldwasser, the creator and host of the popular Wednesday evening calls.
For the remainder of the summer, the calls will be held monthly (July 14 and Aug. 18). After that, a new schedule will be determined.
Goldwasser, a longtime industry vendor began the calls in the spring of 2020 as a way to bring people together as the pandemic essentially shut down their businesses. The virtual bar night quickly became a way for motorcoach operators and vendors to connect on a personal level, sharing what they were going through and offering support to each other.
Lately, the turnout on the calls has dwindled some as participants have gotten busy with summer activities with their kids and friends. Like the operators on the call, Goldwasser’s work schedule is also picking up, as he is taking more car trips to visit his Amaya Seating clients up and down the East Coast.
Buses & Beer prep time
The hiatus gives Goldwasser some extra time in this schedule. Beyond the weekly marathon Zoom call itself — that began at 7:30 p.m. EST and usually lasted 5-6 hours — he spent lots of time prepping.
“I have a giant folder of every call we’ve done with all the questions,” he shared on a recent Overdrive session, which follows the weekly UMA Town Hall on Thursday. “I looked back to see if I’ve asked this question before, or if I missed questions. Things come up in conversation that sparked questions.”
He estimates he spends six hours on prep, whether he is putting together invite lists for Zoom calls or planning out the questions he is going to pose during the virtual gatherings.
In a Facebook post, Connie Giddens says she isn’t sure what to do with herself after spending nearly all her Wednesday evenings with the group. She usually shares her screen with her husband, Tom Giddens, President of Pacific Coachways Charter Services in Garden Grove, California.
“There was lots of laughter and sometimes there were tears, but each week there was a feeling of camaraderie with these wonderful people who were truly “in this together!,” wrote Giddens in her tribute to Goldwasser and Buses & Beer.
Jasmine Sayah, operations manager of Best Tours & Travel in Fresno, California, also described her feelings in a Facebook message.
“Jeff Goldwasser, we’re going to need to set up a therapy session for when we’re not meeting on Wednesday,” she wrote.
Goldwasser says he will be available on other Wednesday evenings for people who might be lonely without a weekly serving of Buses & Beer.
“You call me and talk to me. I’ll ask you questions. We’ll have a one-on-one therapy session,” he joked.
For the most part, Goldwasser plans to use his free Wednesdays to catch up with friends in person and visit the beach near his New Jersey home. He jokes he might have to begin asking his wife, Abbye, a category question, the term he assigns to the adult questions asked in the after-9 p.m. portion.
For an invite to the summer calls, e-mail Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org