November 21st, 2008

Loki riding

Flower Power!

Driving to work yesterday, what should I see but a “new” VW bug sporting a bunch of huge retro-60s flower decals.

That sure brought a smile to my face. It reminded me of the day, waaaaay back when, when I drove my bug from college for a weekend visit with my parents. I, too, had covered my bug with flower decals.

My dad scraped them off. No sense of whimsy. All those pretty decals, victims of the culture war.

My dad bought his first VW bug in 1957. Back then, I was small enough to fit inside the compartment behind the back seat. I can still remember the scratchy texture of the fabric lining that compartment.

His first VW bug was bright orange. He’d ordered black, but an orange car arrived and despite his reservations about an orange car being inappropriate for a clergyman, he was too much in love with the car to turn it down. His next bug, a 1966 model, was a more sober beige. That’s the one he loaned to me while I was in college (with the proviso I give it to my brother later on, which I did), and that’s the car I covered with flower decals.

By this time, my dad had noticed the VW bug was now the flower power symbol of “hippies”, who he detested (and thus no longer a symbol of his fiscal prudence in driving a car which got 2 – 3 times as much mileage per gallon as the typical American car of the period).

His next car was the VW version of a station wagon. Also an excellent car. My brother inherited it after our dad died, and by the time he sold it to a VW collector he had put over 500,000 miles on it. And I know there are bugs around that have been driven over 1,000,000 miles... a goal to aspire to. :-)