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Wave at the bus family gaining fame in Japan

By Barbara Christiansen - Daily Herald - | Mar 22, 2012
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A film crew from Asahi TV in Japan interviews Dale Price at a park near his home in American Fork on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Price has received international attention for dressing up in a different costume every morning to wave at his son's school bus. SPENSER HEAPS/Daily Herald

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Dale Price looks over homework with his son Ryatt at their home in American Fork on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Price has received international attention for dressing up in a different costume every morning to wave at his son's school bus. SPENSER HEAPS/Daily Herald

AMERICAN FORK — There is an old saying that if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door. The same applies if you dress up and wave at your son’s school bus.

Dale Price of American Fork found this out last spring when he finished a year of doing just that, in a different costume every day. His blog took off and TV crews came calling — the latest a crew from Japan.

“We collect video and YouTube clips from all over the world,” vice president and producer Sean Takahashi of TV-Asahi said. “We select a few and actually go to the place. We had seen the blog and thought this would be a great story. We decided to come all the way from Japan to see how he does it and how the family feels about it. It is a story of love and of family and support for his son.”

Price was surprised.

“I can’t believe people are still interested,” he said. “It is stunning to me. They called me and it blew my mind.”

Dale Price had no intention of doing an entire school year worth of costumes, but it turned out that way. He simply went out to wave to his son, Rain, on the bus as he started his sophomore year at American Fork High School. Price was wearing San Diego Chargers memorabilia that morning and it started the trend, which grew exponentially from there. The family blog, waveatthebus.blogspot.com, shows the 170 costumes he wore for the daily morning wave. This year, he only appears once a week. For the Japanese TV crew Price modeled some of the family favorites — and not so favorites.

One in the latter category was the Wonder Woman costume he borrowed from his wife, Rochelle.

“I had been out jogging and I came around the corner and it stunned me,” she recounted. “It was the costume I wore for Halloween, but he showed a lot more skin.”

“I don’t think any woman wants to have her husband wearing something like that,” Dale said.

One of the favorites was a pirate. He was unable to recreate one of the most memorable from last year, however — sitting on a toilet reading the newspaper. The old broken one he’d used was gone.

The TV crew interviewed him, with Takahashi translating. Price said he felt family was the most important thing and that it was important to spend time together.

One activity they did together, with cameras trained on them, was skiing in Park City. Dale Price lost his leg above the knee in a motorcycle accident 20 years ago, and this was the first time he had skied since then.

“The best part was getting to see my dad ski,” Rain Price said. “It is easily my favorite part. It was amazing to see him. He is persistent and resilient. It is a drive that he has to do whatever he can. It is praiseworthy.”

The crew went through some family photo albums and spoke with the family about their marriage and family heritage. They addressed Dale Price’s accident and how he has handled not being able to do certain activities with his kids.

“He is a happy-go-lucky guy,” he said. “He compensates for the lack of being able to do activities with his kids. The costumes and waves are a way of connecting with them.”

Now it’s back to normal for the Price family.

“I don’t know what is next,” Dale Price said. “I just take it as it comes. That is the whole thing. It keeps coming back to this. I just keep riding that wave. It is kind of amazing. We just enjoy it for what it is.”

The family has started a podcast, which is available from a link on their blog. In it, Dale will tell stories and share ideas.

“It will be ongoing,” Rochelle Price said. “There are always new stories coming up in life.”

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