By Evelyn Dykema

I’m not going to tell about John’s first car, a 47 Ford,  which he bought in college in 1955 for $25 and shared with another guy.  It was called Old Smokey for all of the reasons implied in that name.  It had no heater, but we had our love to keep us warm through that Michigan winter, and, actually, we drove Old Smokey pulling a one-wheel trailer from Michigan to California when we moved there the following June (1956) right after we were married. 

Our first family “car” was a red 1954 VW Westphalia camper.  It was a “doozy”  with running water, a table, and places to sleep six with a bit of finagling. What it didn’t have was enough horses in that back engine compartment to get us up even the smallest of the hills. All 36 horses pulling with all their might made us a traffic hazard and so we would tell the kids to start pedaling to help the engine. Of course, that didn’t work, but we could get down the other side of the hill in fine fashion. That vehicle took us across country many, many times.