Posted on Kaibluecreations Blog is a fantastic photo of caravanning VW vans. I began an email to Kai that became so long I decided to make it today’s post instead. That one picture evoked so many wonderful warm memories and many random thoughts, from my past.
It sparked the memory of Peppers obsession with Volkswagen beetles when she was a little girl. The Barbie car could not compare to the adored Beetle which she called a “Punch Buggy” Many car rides were spent counting the unique bug shaped cars as they passed by. Something I also did as a child.
One summer evening, many years ago, during a stroll on the promenade in White Rock, we spied a Caravan of Volkswagen bugs. Imagine my surprise, when my shy elated little girl squealed with passion as each one passed by. “Another and another,” she screamed as she jumped up and down. Spectators more amazed at this little girl’s excitement; than the parade of passing “Punch Buggies” You’d think she’d won the lottery. We still giggle about it to this day.
I was also reminded of my brother’s first car, a red convertible Volkswagen beetle with a faulty horn. Quite the comedian, my brother was forever looking for a laugh. One particular night we were chatting in his bug parked outside my new house. Unexplainably the horn wouldn’t turn off. My brother put the car in gear, and drove around and around in my cult de sac, repeatedly singing the Mr. Rogers theme song “It’s a lovely day in my neighbourhood.” The horn continued to blast along with his not so in tune voice. I was laughing so hard I almost wet my pants. I begged him to stop, but of course he wouldn’t. Voicing my concerns about the neighbors seemed useless as he continued to drive in a circular motion. The more hysterical my laughter became, the louder he sang. It was definitely a case of “Oh my god what will the neighbors think?” I suppose the song, and driving antics were suppose to stave off the fits of anger brought on by the annoying horn. Eventually the horn stopped. I’m not sure if he disabled the wires or banged it with a hammer. I just know it was an incident never to be forgotten. When I eventually share my blog address with him, he will certainly chuckle at the memory of us driving around my cult de sac that summer night when he was a teen.
The third memory evoked a rash search of every photo album in my house, desperate to find a picture of my dads blue Volkswagen beetle pulling a home made one wheel trailer. Yes, you heard that right. I am sure you’d have to see it to believe it. This came up at my fiftieth birthday party. Imagine two adults, three kids ( they actually let me bring my friend Toni), and a black wire haired terrier riding in a Volkswagen beetle, pulling a fully packed one wheel trailer and an overfilled roof rack box. Got that?…..yes on an eight hour trek, up the mountain to the Okanagan lake. Well, that was a yearly occurrence. I am sad to say I couldn't locate even one picture of the car and the trailer. Not much was visually recorded when I was young. That car with the one wheel trailer was a definite anomaly; certainly one of the relatives must have been amused enough to snap a picture. Now I am on a quest. That car and trailer were so loaded up, and some of hills in the mountain were quite taxing on that bug. My dad would politely pull over quite a few times during the trip just to let the convoy of vehicles go by.
It really is a great reminder of how tolerant and patient my dad was. His wonderful nature and ability of overcome adversity afforded us many fun camping trips over the years. My uncle would blast his way through the mountain barely stopping for a bathroom break. My dad on the other hand, toodled along, singing songs, stopping for ice-cream, bathroom breaks and a picnic of Kentucky fried chicken. All year we’d save our allowance to take camping for two weeks in the Okanagan at Green Bay. I revisited Green Bay as an adult and although it is still there its not quite the same. Unfortunately the resort has no website, but there is a campsite close by that mirrors how it was when I was young, it's called Westbay Resort. Swimming, waterskiing and dancing to “ Sweet Pea" blaring on the outside jukebox, sneaking out at night to meet boys, playing cards by Coleman light, singing around the fire, are some of the greatest childhood memories still alive and well.