Christy with the Luck Bug in the background.

By Christy Gillette

My first car was a “first” in every sense of the word.  When I was born, my parents brought me home from the hospital in a red 1968 Volkswagen Beetle that would be a part of our family for over a quarter of a century.  (No infant seats back then; I rode on my mom’s lap in the front passenger seat.)  I learned to drive on its very forgiving stick shift, heard that Reagan had been shot on the AM-only radio, and even managed to survive its 2/40 air conditioning (two windows down, forty miles an hour) during long summers in California’s central valley.  The car had a reputation as a survivor; more than once, and for more than one generation, our bug finished road trips even when our friends’ cars broke down.  We joked that we just needed to rewind the rubber band in the back every so often, and we were good to go.  My brother and I eventually loaded it up with bumper stickers: “Zero to 60 in 15 minutes” and “Ich bin ein Gluekskaefer” (“I’m a good luck bug”) were particular favorites.  When it was finally time to say goodbye to the little car, my parents had to wait until my brother and I were both out of town to sell it.  I like to think that a Volkswagen lover found it and fixed it up, and that it will continue to outlast fancier models for another generation or two.  Drive on, Luck Bug!

 

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