Sad, Lonely, Anxious.

I sat, lonely and dirty. A memory of the past. Visitors would come see Lisa and Brian, some of them would ask to see what I was about so they would open me up and let friends peek inside. Once and awhile they would let kids climb around and pretend like I was a cool fort! Lisa would recollect all the fun that Rogers family had in me. It made me feel special and beautiful again. Boy did I miss those days!

I remember one night their boy, Steve, came out and just sat on my couch. He was a little sad, but I could tell he had twinge of excitement in him. It was like the feeling the kids would get just before Christmas. Usually Steve would just ignore me, so this night was pretty special. He started to clean me a little and then he was talking on his phone. He was the typical teenager! He was asking about engines and transmissions. I was thinking that maybe it would be my turn to get all dolled up. Then Steve said something that gave it all away… “The only way I could afford that, is if I sell my Grampas bus!” He shut my sliding door, locked it and walked back into the house still chatting about differentials and turbo charging and fancy talk like that. All I could think about was his comment, “Sell my Grampas bus”….

Did I really just hear that? Brian and Lisa were going to let their son sell me? WHY? To whom? When? I’m NOT ok with this!

The next day, Steve came outside with an camera hanging around his neck. I could see he had the key in his hand and so I mustered all the strength I could imagine. PLEASE oh please let me start right up! Maybe If I did, he would remember how trustworthy I am and reconsider selling me. He put the key into my ignition and I started up as easy as putting warm butter on a piece of sourdough bread! He let out a, “hmmm” sound. Not those kind that mean that the human is thinking, but the kind that shows a little surprise with approval attached to it. It took a few minutes for the thick old oil to start flowing smooth. I tried my best to hush the rattles and knocks that most VW buses are known for. I really wanted the boy to realize that selling me would be a BIG mistake!

The backdoor opened up and I heard Brian yell out, “Best to let her warm up a few minutes before you drive her!” WAIT, I was going on a drive? With the boy? He could do that? I started thinking how I needed to be give my best performance! Surely if he enjoyed this drive he wouldn’t sell me…

Steve jumped in the drivers seat and put me into 4th gear. WAIT! NO, don’t do that! He let the clutch out and gave it too much gas. I couldn’t do anything but lug, lurch, spit, cough and then, my motor cut out. Oh, this was not good! He tried to restart me, pumping the gas before turning the key. Too much gas! I couldn’t do anything but make that silly cranking sound. Luckily his dad ran up and said I was flooded and to give me a few minutes. Steve pulled out his hand phone and again. His dad noticed it too. This kid was always on his phone! Then Steve asked his dad if he knew how to put me in reverse. Haha! I am GERMAN! I guess he found the right diagram on his phone because he started me up, pushed the shifter down, over, and back and VOILA! I clunked into gear. Next time I will go softer, but I wanted him to know it was the right gear. 😉

Heading down their driveway was always such fun. Anticipating the next great adventure help me to feel rejuvenated. Turning onto the main road, I started dreaming of this great adventure we were going to have. Driving through the mountain passes, over the desert plains, maybe even arriving at the ocean this time! How fun! The boy was doing a wonderful job driving me. Smooth shifting through the gears, at just the right rpms. Not over steering at all, which most new VW bus drivers automatically do. I just LOVE taking my humans on trips! Sometimes we would stay at campgrounds. Sometimes we would just park up in the mountains. But always, we would connect. Always we would be content and have purpose, meaning to existing. Just as I was about to get into my traveling groove, we turned around and headed back. I was confused… OK, maybe the boy forgot some stuff. That’s pretty common for boys his age! I don’t remember him putting sleeping bags, or actually, he didn’t have any camping gear with him. Just his camera around his neck.

Reaching the driveway we stopped. It was very awkward actually. I couldn’t figure out if he was going to run in the house and get his stuff or what he was doing. He turned off the engine. shut the door and started to take pictures of me. I wasn’t clean! I had a layer of dust completely covering me! My pop-top! It was covered with the black dot mold from sitting in the wet climate of Oregon and then coming to the dry desert of Utah… It was like it was baked into my fiberglass! And here he was snapping pictures. Well, I hope he wasn’t planning on putting these pictures in his wallet!

For Sale

 

Little did I know, this would be my last drive with this family. The last set of pictures they would have of me.

Steve drove me back up the driveway, parked me, locked me up and said, “Bye old bus. You’ve been a good, fun vehicle. I’m gonna miss you a little.” He turned away and walked inside the house. That was the last time I saw the boy.

 

Stay tuned……

Next post “You Found Me!”

John Muir

 

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The Beginnings

My original owner (Roger) purchased me in Southern California. He worked for NASA and LOVED to take me out to the desert where he would set up all his gear and do some star gazing. We would camp for days! He took EXCELLENT care of me.

He personalized me a bit by giving me this really AWESOME headliner.headliner RollBar

As a safety feature he also installed this leg roll-bar thingy. It makes a FABULOUS foot rest for the humans. 😉

We stayed in California for years. Roger married and baby Katherine came but he continued to take me out stargazing. When Katherine was a little older they started visiting National and State Parks at least twice a year.

Roger was diligent on my upkeep cosmetically and especially when it came to my engine. He kept and filed every service receipt. He even kept gas receipts and logged them to make sure my gas mileage was consistent.

When Roger retired we moved up to Oregon. It was VERY wet up there but they kept me in the garage all dry and clean. I wasn’t driven much but I did make it out at least once a year for a big family reunion! Katherine became Kathy, married and had kids of her own. Then the bad news came. Roger wouldn’t be taking me out anymore. His Parkinsons disease was getting pretty bad.

Kathy and her family moved up to Oregon to be closer to her Mom and Dad. She used to drive me quite a bit. She loved to take me out camping with her family. It felt really good to be on these adventures again! Although it never became official, Roger gave me to Kathy. This lasted for a few years.

Kathy

This is Katherine AKA Kathy. In 2010 she passed away from cancer. God rest her soul.

This became the saddest time in my life. I sat outside alone. Missing the family that shared so many laughs and giggles in my bunks. Missing the man who lovingly sat for hours in the drivers seat thinking of life and singing to his favorite cassette tapes. Once a month Roger had someone come out and start me up, drive me for a bit and then park me again.

The decision to give me to Lisa and Brian was made. (Lisa is Kathys niece, Rogers granddaughter.) They lived in Utah and have lots of children, maybe they will enjoy taking Grampas bus camping? My move to Utah was easy. They put me on a flatbed trailer and off we went! I’d never felt the wind through my vents like that! And going over the mountain passes PASSING the big trucks! You can just bet i was sticking out my tongue at them!!!

toUtah

 

Brian and Lisa were wonderful people. They just didn’t know much about air-cooled engines. They were very busy too! Brian had his own business and they lived on a big farm with goats and chickens. Brian had a GIANT garage/workshop were they had lots of fast beefy cars they were restoring. I sat around for about a year and then they decided to sell me. Their boy really wanted to buy a muscle car for himself… and I am just about the opposite of THAT!

It was a very difficult decision to make. Lisa was very sad. All those memories, and all the fun camping trips. I remember her saying that they would only sell her to the right person! They had to be adventurous. People who would drive me, camp in me and make family memories once again. I was NOT to be a donor car!! GOD FORBID!!!!

Stay tuned… More adventures to come!!

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,

places to play in and pray in,

where nature may heal and give strength to

body and soul 

                           ~John Muir

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