Tuesday, July 22, 2014


My cars have all had names.

I bought my first car in 1970, the summer before I started college. It was a very used, very loved, Volkswagon Beetle. Aquarius Blue. So fitting, I thought, for this Age of Aquarius Flower Child. I had seen an ad in the newspaper and grabbed my brother, James, to go with me to look at the 1962 VW Bug. It was a manual transmission and I didn't know how to drive one. But, not knowing how to drive the car was a minor inconvenience as far as I was concerned. I bought 'Lil Al' on the spot for $300-the sum total of my savings. Jim drove him home and then spent 30 minutes teaching me the mechanics of a stick shift.  I lovingly christened 'Albert' at first sight (he reminded me of a favorite uncle)!

I drove Albert around campus and back and forth from Madison to Estes Park, Colorado (where I worked summers) numerous times during the following four years I spent at the UW. He had no heat, a big hole under his accelerator pedal where I could watch the road go by, and bumpers that I had to wire together. But, he started every morning, and ran forever on gas fumes. That car oozed personality. I loved him until the day he literally fell apart.

I bought my second car right after graduation on the day I started my first teaching job. A brand new, 1974,  Metallic Lime-Green Beetle.  I named her 'Buns' after a nickname I acquired in college.  I had Buns for the next ten years...until she became too cramped for hauling my three young daughters and all their paraphernalia. And, even then I did not want to sell her, but we needed a more family friendly car.

Over the following fifteen years I drove a mini van and a couple different jeeps. Cars that served their purpose with our gang of six.  I can't remember naming any of them.

Then, the year Austin-the last of our four kids-turned sixteen, got his drivers license, and no longer needed me to be his driver-Volkswagen started manufacturing the Beetle again.  Feeling a new found freedom and a nostalgia for my younger days, I bought a shiny 'New Beetle'. She was a Metallic Cobalt Blue.  I named her 'Millie'.  She was a fun little car and I drove her for three years....until Volkswagen came out with a convertible model! So, Tom and I gave Millie to Kristin as a college graduation gift so that I could justify getting the convertible, and bought a Moonrock-Silver Beetle Convertible. I named her 'Queene Bee'.

It has been twelve years-twelve good years-and Bee has held up well.  But, as she gets more and more miles on her, I have begun to think about getting another car. Of course I am looking at the newest, sportiest, souped-up Beetles .  And, yes. I already have a name picked out.
*Update: I originally posted this several months ago. I brought Marilyn Monroe home yesterday!

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