Monday, June 21, 2010

Riding Off Into The Sunset

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... 

With a very sweet and perky college-age girl named Chelsea whose Dad is going to make a project of it with his daughter.  It will be a labor of love because Chelsea has always wanted a VW bus like the ones she used to see when she was growing up in California.  Her Dad's a mechanic, you see, and she's an artist.

And Chelsea is giddy with excitement about having a car just like this one:


The young lady told me she'd e-mail me some pictures when she's finished with it. 

I'm not going to show them to my Dad.

7 comments:

MightyMom said...

That's a better retirement than most cars get!

GrandmaK said...

What a grand family treasure. Cathy

Anne said...

Long live the VW!

Aubrey said...

How fun! That is THEE van we had when I was growing up. We put 7 kids into 5 seats; I remember sharing seatbelts. That's what we did in the 80s, before the last 2 kids came along and forced us into 2 vehicles. Our VW was red and sounded just like you described. It always reminded me of a sound from the Jetsons when it pulled up. When the red model died, we got a brown 80s model but it wasn't as cool. It was stick shift, too, come to think of it. Fun, fun, fun! :)

Natalie said...

But you will show the pics to us right?!?

Lisa said...

LOL! Oh, you betcha, Natalie! :)

Sarah Oldham said...

There are several of these oldies on O'ahu and my kids get really excited about them. I think it's 'cos they have seen Kelso's on That 70's Show. (Ahem).