NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WJAR) — A bond was formed on a bus that can't be broken and because of that friendship, a North Kingstown senior showed up to prom in style thanks to the kindness of her coworker turned friend.
North Kingstown resident, Ronald Sullman, who's almost 77 years old, has been a driver for most of his life.
"I've been driving for a long time. I've been driving a bus since 1969," said Sullman. "I worked for a vintage limousine company, I've been driving for the North Kingstown Recreation Department for 10 years, and I retired from RIPTA in 2008."
Sullman said he's always loved cars and people, so it was no surprise his retirement wasn't like most people his age.
"Retirement is not what it's cracked up to be. Some people sit down in a rocking chair and they wait to die but I got interests," said Sullman.
Sullman currently works as the supervisor for the North Kingstown Recreation Department.
He picks up children from after-school programs during the year, and during the summer, he transports them to camp.
It was on one of those routes that he met 17-year-old Riley Scott, a senior at North Kingstown High School.
"I met him in the summer with all my campers but when I was asked to be a bus monitor, that was really the first time I got to connect with him," said Scott. "We've been working together on Tuesdays and Thursdays."
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Both Sullman and Scott said they connected instantly through a conversation about Signal Rock in town. Ever since, conversation and comradery has flown naturally.
"We can talk for an hour, sometimes I even stay after work to talk to him," said Scott. "It's nice to have a friend who's more experienced in the world and not my parents."
"She's very interesting to talk to," added Sullman. "She was very nice to me around Christmas, made me the loveliest cookies and anybody who makes me cookies is a friend of mine."
The pair has taken a general interest in one another's lives.
"When his brother was going into the nursing home and had surgery, I made him dinner, so it was easier on him," said Scott. "Anything I can do to help."
Recently, Sullman returned the favor.
After learning Scott's prom was canceled last year, he told her to keep him updated as to the status of their years.
"I told him I was like, 'I'm having a prom, it's official!' And he said, 'I'm going to drive you in the limo'," said Scott.
According to Sullman, in September 1974, he purchased a 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 sedan and it's been his most prized possession ever since.
"When I drive it, people's heads in traffic, but most of the time I keep it in a garage," said Sullman. "This is a true limousine. These new things they have are disgraceful."
To show appreciation for their friendship and to do something nice for Scott, Sullman brought out the car that's in pristine condition and picked her and her boyfriend up for prom.
He even dressed the part.
"I couldn't get into the pants, but I found a tailor that would take care of me in one hour's time, so I was able to make it," said Sullman. "If you're going to drive it and you're doing a job like a prom or a wedding, you look the part."
"I thought it was adorable," said Scott. "It was already extremely nice that he was lending his time and his car to drive me and my date. That was amazing. And for him to even get dressed up that was even better."
Scott was prepared for his arrival. She bought him a corsage and her mom took a picture of her pinning it on him.
"It was fun, I enjoyed it," said Sullman.
"No one else had a limo like that," added Scott.
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Sullman has one son, no daughters, and no grandchildren. If he did, he told NBC 10 News he wished they'd be like Scott.
Scott is off to Assumption College in the fall but plans to keep in contact with her bus buddy.
"If I had a daughter, she would be perfect," he said. "I appreciate our friendship."