Saying Goodbye to the Family Car of Our Childhood
This VW microbus was the car my six brothers and sisters and I grew up with. My Dad bought her a gleaming but practical young thing way back in 1977 when we were stationed at the Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia. And she's been in the family ever since. She's crisscrossed the country a couple of times, east to west, north to south. She's ferried many an outing to historic sites, cheauffered many a child to school, carried the family in finery to Mass on hundreds of Sunday mornings. She's seen more than her share of squabbling siblings; she's heard many a rendition of my Dad's traditional singing of Men of Harlech and Old King Cole on long road trips; she's endured spilled drinks and muddy feet and sticky candy on the seats. But the old girl has always taken it all with good humor. But then she would; she's a bit of quirky character, herself. Her horn sounds ridiculous, like honking Bozo's nose. Her seats are ridiculously uncomfortable and her interior has always smelled a little funny -- like gasoline and leatherette and my Dad's spearmint chewing gum. But she's special to us.
Over the last thirty-three years, my Dad's old VW has seen all of us children grow up and move away. My Dad was still driving it when I was in college, then after I married and had children of my own they learned to recognize, like we always did, the trademark VW-putput sound of Grandad coming up the driveway. But my Dad got old and the old microbus got old. She needed more and more care and was just not as comfortable as my parents' new, plush car. So, my brother, Steve, who is a mechanic, brought her out to the farm and put her out to pasture. The idea was that he would find time to work on the old girl. But, you know how that goes... He never did find the time. And now we're moving. It's time to pass her on.
So, we saluted as we watched her drive off into the sunset...