Tuesday, December 1, 2015

In Which Cozy Natters On

I have not blogged in a long time.  Should I make a confession now?

Nah.  Let me just tell you some stuff.  A  friend of mine has a vintage ad, circa 1966, featuring the brand new 1966 VW mini bus.  It's shown sitting proudly in the driveway of a cute little mid-century bungalow, as if it's the ideal vehicle of the middle class 1965 family.  Dudes.  Really?  The only way a V-Dub bus would have shown up in that family's driveway is because their raggedy-ass college age son parked it there.  Possibly because he'd come home to announce that he was dropping out of school, renouncing the establishment and going to live in a commune somewhere unspecified.  

So, let's forget about RACAS now, because we know what happened there.  He dropped out, did his free living thing for a while, went back to school, got an MBA and now earns a 7 digit annual income.  

Let's talk about the micro bus.  Because we really don't know what would have become of it 50 years later.  Would it be nothing but a clump of metal in a wrecking yard somewhere?  The odds of it being still road worthy are pretty slender.  It might not have sustained roadworthiness into the 1970s.   If it survived today, it would likely be more in the lines of garden art than a functioning vehicle. They were badly underpowered for the size of the vehicle.  We actually owned one for a time - something art students were easily lured into because they were essentially just a big rectangle that you could configure however you liked, to transport your glazed pottery to the craft fair, hold all manner of oddly shaped supplies and gear, large canvases, etc.  And the interiors were really easy clean.  The seats were vinyl and bolted to the floor…which was just metal floorboards + rubber matting.  You could pop one of the bench seats out really easily for extra space.  And you could hose them out if something got spilled. Excellent in all respects except the little picky detail of - will it actually start, and then if having accomplished that, will it actually proceed in a forwardly direction?

Ours was prone to wanting a little boost to get into 1st gear. You could either get other art students to give you a push in return for carting their stuff to the craft fair. Or park on a hill. Or get an assist from what looked like a bunch of kindly Mafia guys on the turnpike in New Jersey.

(Why yes, yes we did. And yes, I'm pretty sure they were Mafia. Four guys in black business suits in July, driving a big Lincoln with tinted windows? You tell me.  They were stopped at the rest area where the van chose one of its (numerous) times to crap out. The potentially Mafia guys thought the kids were adorable and gave them a bag of tomatoes they said was from one of the guy's mom's garden. There were several bags of produce in the trunk of the Lincoln. If there were body parts or cement shoes in the trunk also, we did not see those.) Nor would we have seen them if we HAD seen them. We were stupid enough to have actually purchased a VW micro bus. But not total idiots. (It cost around $500, and the previous owner was VERY happy to get that…and this was not so long ago that $500 was a sum of money usually related to even very used used car prices.)

In time, we graduated from art school and did the Real Life thing, during which it rapidly came apparent that we'd need a car that didn't require a push start.  And so we found someone with a few bucks to spend on an iconic way of life.  Handily, his brother-in-law was a shade tree mechanic.  Who knows.  Maybe the old bus is still out there, chugging around somewhere.  But probably not.

We got a Buick and became boring.  

How about you?

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