I bought my first VW Beetle in 1977. I had just finished medical assisting school and had my first real full time job. Still living at home with no real expenses I saved until I could pay for my own car. Adulting, as we now call it, had begun.
Origins Of The Passion
My first VW Beetle experience was riding with our family friend Joey Okura. She was my Girl Scout leader who became a close friend of my mother then our families became close; their oldest son my first crush, daughter a friend, and youngest son the family clown who always made me laugh. I cherish them to this day.
Joey loved her Beetle. I know of at least one engine replacement and who knows what else was done to keep that car running. I don’t know what color it originally was, but I do remember it being a shade of green. Back then there was a handle on the passenger side of the car above the glove box. My mom still recounts “hanging on for dear life” as Joey zipped all over town.
My best friend at the time had a Beetle. We met while working at the Brookhurst Theater in Anaheim, California. She and I went places together in her car and I knew that I would one day own one as well.
1971 Super Beetle
I had money in the bank and was tired of driving the 1966 Chevy Impala (a car, that today I wish I still owned) that had been our family car for the past eleven years. I wanted something that was “me.” I scoured the newspaper ads and came across not necessarily the Beetle of my dreams, but a Beetle for my budget. I paid $1,100 for it and writing that check…well, it might as well have been a million dollars. What I drove home was a beige 1971 Super Beetle. Of course it had no air conditioning and even with the windows rolled down I can remember how hot and sweaty I got sitting on those vinyl seats. Nonetheless, I was smitten.
I didn’t have this car very long. Within the year I traded it in for marriage and a life in Texas where air conditioning is a matter of survival. The marriage lasted seven years; the Beetle infection, however, has endured to this day.
The road of life sometimes feels like a dead end street. Yet other times that same road is long and narrow, only two lanes and I’m stuck behind a tractor traveling twenty miles per hour. And then there are the times when life zips along at the posted speed, the music is playing and the scenery is beautiful. Life is good.
All of these are part of God’s plan for our lives. I have come to understand and appreciate all of them for what they teach me about life, faith, fear, and joy. Potholes and bumps in the road are a certainty; it is how I let it affect my life that matters. God is in the driver’s seat of my life, I just need to remember the let go of the wheel.
Tomorrow I will continue the saga of my Beetle Mania. Until then, I pray for you peace on your journey through life.