’Round Town

Mae and Ben

Wed, 07/21/2021 - 7:15am

In 1971 I bought my first new car! It was a VW Super Beetle with Pirelli tires, bigger engine, tighter shifter, fatter steering wheel, and fake leather seats. Bright yellow with black pinstripes. She was a hot number. Cost: around $2,000. I think my first year teaching job paid about $7,600. I had to ask my grade level administrator, Mr. Al Weissbach, to co-sign because I had no credit history. Or, at least none that I cared to share!

I knew Volkswagen a bit. I had rebuilt an old many windowed VW bus (which I wish I still owned) – split front windshield. An icechest in winter. Nothing but sheet metal between my feet and the road. Heater? Not so much.

So, in an outbreak of nostalgia, I bought a 1971 bug. Susan, my wife, had one too, but hers was more straightforward – not nearly so fancy as mine. She wrecked hers on River Road on a patch of ice. Thankfully, she wasn't hurt and the VW was repairable. I have owned Rabbits and Jettas since.

Our current '71 became a perfect prop for the wedding venue here on the farm. Many enjoyed posed photos with, in much the same way as Mae and Ben in this week's adventure photo. The bug has local history. Originally owned by Sally Barter, of Howie and Sally fame, it came with genuine VW sales paperwork and cool VW odds and ends. We became the keepers of the light a couple years ago when I purchased it from Mike Valentine, with 84,000 miles on the odometer.

Mae and Ben don't have that much mileage yet, nor did many of the guests at their small wedding gathering. We created a wedding re-do because their real wedding plans got cancelled by COVID-19. They ran away to a JP in Brooklyn last year before coming to Maine for the safety of our area and family support. We had a grand summer full house and never looked back.

Ben's family is from Texas and California, as is he. He and Mae met at college in Bennington, Vermont, but that didn't click until they remet in NYC. Kind of a cool story actually. Many of Ben's family made it east for a first time visit to Maine. We were thrilled to share that experience as we had only met Ben's mom and dad during a short visit to New York. It was not a gala event but certainly fun!

So, VWs aside, the road ahead, with its twists and turns, looks negotiable. We are grateful for our many blessings and good friends. May the force be with us all.