This morning when I was leaving the supermarket, I chanced upon this “vintage” Volkswagen in the parking lot.
(I love how nowadays it appears to be the norm to label anything that wasn’t produced, manufactured, or created in the last ten years as “vintage”.)
Just as I was going to snap a photo of it, the owner came out.
I hurriedly pressed the shutter before she drove away.
When I got to the bus stop five minutes later, I was still grinning from ear to ear.
I giggled to myself as I recalled something nana used to say, “She who laughs to herself, her mischievous acts remembers.”
Oh nana, how right you were because that’s exactly what I was doing.
Gazing at that old Volkswagen brought back memories of a time when I was young, foolish, and a lot more fun than I am now.
The year was 1982.
I remember it was after school on a Friday, and it was sweltering hot.
However, the heat didn’t prevent thirteen crazy adolescents from cramming into Vinnie’s old, white Beetle.
And by perfectly, I mean half bodies hanging out of windows, two people stuffed in the trunk, and legs twisted so badly, you’d think they were broken.
Ah, to be young again; to be so flexible, that turning yourself into a human pretzel was rated “easy peasy.”
I miss those days; days when caution was thrown to the wind; days when consequences were the last thing on our minds; days when everything was possible.
The day we crawled into the Beetle was not an exception. It was the rule.
Because those are the foolhardy things you do when you’re young; those are the things you’re able turn into a story for your grown children and grandchildren when you’re older.
Those are the things that make you sigh and believe you’re invincible; king of the world.
I don’t remember if in the beginning, Vinnie was in agreement that thirteen bodies pile into his precious classic.
However, I do remember that halfway through the process, he stood in front of the car shouting out instructions; instructing this person or that person to go next.
Like a director leading an orchestra, he moved his hands left and right, as if to signal, “You, here. You, stand by. You, bend your shoulder an inch.”
How I wish I’d been as camera crazy then as I am now, for it would have been wonderful to capture such a moment.
Thirteen people behaving like idiots, risking bodily harm, and disobeying society’s rules of proper behavior.
Did we measure the consequences of our actions? Absolutely not.
Did we laugh ourselves silly, prove the human body is able to flex and stretch beyond normal limits, and make a memory that will last us a lifetime? Absolutely!
Vinnie, you handsome devil, wherever you are, thank you and your Beetle for making this possible!