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Shift happens:

Rare photos from archive slides and prints!

(Story - Life in the Slow Lane with V Dub, below)

  Bug #1 1965 model in Boulder CO, 1969
Illinois plates 70769 (the family Olds always had 70768)  (owned 1966-Sept 1971)  photo: D Medley
Dad bought #1 from his brother, Bill
1965 Bahama Blue Bug on the job, Winter Park, CO 1969
Yup, flower sticker on rust spot
photo by D Medley



Recently surfaced: early home away from home (still have water bottle!)
scan from print
On The Road, Colorado to CA, summer 1970 in the Bahama Blue
Demise of VW #1, August 1971, Left Hand Canyon, Colorado
"Utility pole and car met in Left Hand Canyon... with this result.  Both car and top part of pole went down embankment into creek.  State Patrolman McClug estimated $800 damage to the car..."
 With Ben and Bug #2 also '65; painted yellow after windstorm sandblasted paint and blew out window during infamous front range winds.  We're caving, but where?  Indiana? ~1972
(Bug #2 bought from Wolfram Kasamir, Boulder)
Shoveling out again, Boulder, spring 1973
1971 Superbug w flat and Dan winter 1975-76
1971 Superbug with kayak Ben made, winter 1977-76 
Where the heck am I going!!
 '68 Bus (owned 1978-1991) at home in the NW ~1988
Mom bought bus from Barbara Rose in Jacksonville IL 
Bus still had less than 100,000 miles on it when Mindy bought it.
Stopping off in Gardiner MT, May 1979
  White bus getting 2nd rebuild by Oyster Creek Mechanic Joe Savini.  Joe's daughter Oso (center); birding friend Barb Smith (L), near Bellingham WA 1979
  First sign of defection: on the job in Forest Service Toyota, Skykomish District, WA summer 1978
Tinkering, March 1980
slide by A. Mears
March 1980 slide by A. Mears
1979 Corona w SR2000, Allenspark CO ~April? 1991
1979 Corona "Pumpkin Pie" (~1990-94) camping in Utah ~1991
 1985 Tercel (1994-2000), in Oregon, spring 1998
 "Cloudy Hands" on the job, emptying mom's house, 
Durango, Colorado, December 1996
 Barb Smith's famous Bellingham Bug at home Dec 1996
"New" 1991 Corolla, "Snow Leopard" Denver, May 2000
 "Snow Leopard" does Arizona! February 2001
 Cuz'n Pete's vintage cars beside vintage airfield! Feb 2001
Tom Tom's Volkswagen Museum, Moab, UT spring ~1988
The Tom Tom his-self
Bellingham Carl with Lucille, '51 Plymouth, ~1993
Only the Fremont Troll knows what happens to VDubs!


 Cochita, Art's 1971 Bug
still wintering near Crested Butte, Colorado 
Art's Cochita (without snow), enjoying the brief summer in Gothic, Colorado
Katy and Carl's Bellingham classic - May 2005
Bellingham fleet - Which rig caused a bidding war?  May 2005
Winner, "Best Dressed Vehicle", Christmas 2004, Winterhaven festival, Tucson AZ
Photo via cousin Todd Scholer.  "Grandpa (Larson's) Truck", 1965 Ford F-100, now owned by wife Dana's father, Loran Larson...  still hums down road... purchased new in Sidney, NB by Dewey Larson (Dana's Grandfather)...  loaned  for 2 wk festival of lights." 
Dave Miller (Jacksonville IL)'s '67 Mustang road racer,"Shelby", on Gingerman Raceway, east of Holland MI. Ace photo taken July 2005, by fellow racer Eric, back side of track, while Dave was going near 100 mph! 
Life in the S-l-o-o-o-w Lane

    Recently, as piles of cars line up behind me on Hwy 55 here in Wide-aho and I dutifully turn off at pulloffs to let 'em explode by, I recalled my last visit to CA, about 1990, one of my last major trips in the 1971 super beetle.  Remember not being able to find leaded gas and having several folks from the land of car mania, come over to stare at a real, working Bug.  How anxious I was to leave CA and how anxious CA was for me to do so!
    As I drove home, north through the spectacular redwoods of northern CA towards the OR border, I pulled off continuously per warnings.  But, at the same time, I simply had to keep going!  Didn't want to just rip through redwoods--how extraordinary these forests!  Besides, the only time the Bug "ripped" was on Colorado snow and ice--at these times she left lines of ordinary cars in her wake.
    Predictably, in the redwoods, despite pulling off frequently, there was always traffic behind and I was pulled over by California Highway Patrol for being a laggard.  “I've pulled over at nearly every pull off”, I whined to the officer, who asked how long I was staying as he no doubt looked for incriminating evidence amongst the chaos in my beloved home away from home.  “I want out of your state and you're going to have to give me the chance, ” I assured him.
    Later I turned off onto a dirt road into hills east of Arcata, looking to camping.  After miles, I retraced my steps, failing to find so much as a pull off without a private land warning.  Ach, California!  So beautiful, so untouchable.  Ended up driving all the way into Oregon before finding a spot for the night.  As I pulled under trees I remember being relieved to hear the familiar call of a sawhet owl.  Good-bye California.  Haven't been back (though of course I'd like to).
    Around that same time frame, I was also pulled over back home in Washington State for backing up traffic as I headed up to the Cascades.  Chicago brother Scott and wife were following.  He's a windy city driver who doesn't suffer foolish drivers (like me) gladly. “I knew you were too slow”, he snapped gleefully.  Primarily men, refuse to ride with me.  Fine.
    For years I snorted about the first time I was picked up for driving too slow, sometime in the early 1970s.  I was driving, one of my early VW bugs, downhill from Loveland Pass after skiing.  “The reason you've been pulled over is in regards to speed”, a voice drawled, as it looked hopefully around the Bug for telltale signs of nonexistent drugs/paraphernalia, dilated eyeballs, whatever.  The voice said something about a minimum speed limit.  Boulder buddie Ben and I were annoyed by the charge; we contested.  I kept the ticket for ages.  Life with a Bug did nothing for my inherited paranoia.  In eastern Colorado I was pulled over for not having backup lights.  Turned out early Bugs simple didn't have them!  In Kremmling the Bug was ticketed for having been passed in a no passing zone...  Or so it seemed to me, not the judge.
    To be fair, I was pulled over for speeding a few years ago—about 1995 T.E. (Toyota Era).  I burst out laughing, telling the officer, no one would believe it.  I was going down one of the notorious Palouse hills in the wheat fields on the way to Spokane.  Guess the officer knew I wasn't kidding; no ticket.
    Over 25 years of Volkswagens (1965, 1969, 1971 bugs and 1968 Bus), ended in 1994 when I decided a Toyota stationwagon would combine the best of the Bug and Bus; owning 2 cars was too much.  The superbug went to a family in Coeur d'Alene to restore.  In my (abundant) dreams, I'm always in a Bug (or Bus).  My eyes linger on old bugs and buses fondly.
    CA is coming to Idaho.  Even with a Toyota, I'm just too slow--the ever present line of pickups and trailers behind me tells me so.  Having got out of the VW biz, my chance of being pulled over "just because" is less.  Not ready to stay home, I'm stumped.  I yearn for the goode olde daze when I puttered along in a Beetle gawking at birds!  Tweedly Dee!
   I still cover rust spots with bumper stickers (not 1960s flowers).  A couple of years back I began putting plastic and silk flowers through the Toyota's grill--can't help myself: love my cars.  I'm on my last “Support Your Right to Arm Bears” sticker, my all time favorite.  It joins "Relax, God's in charge", something that never, ever wudda been there in the '60s!  Slowly, slowly, "Shift Happens" (another favorite bumpersticker)!  Volkswagen to Toyota... flowers to their creator.  Now that I have a house and haul things like trees from Home Depot on top of the car, small pickups turn my head.  I'm even open to talking automatic transmission!  Could I becoming an Idahoan?!
    If you ever catch me driving around in one of those great big pick ups with a gun rack, oversized tires and a horse trailer, quick, call the Rainbow Family!

7-23-03  NEW from ERIC the VOLVO in AZ

I went through the list of items that identify a true Volvo nut and below are the ones that apply to the eccentric nut in Scottsdale.

  • you keep on fixing it, no matter how many times it breaks, insisting that "this will be the last time it breaks, really. I mean what else is there to break?"
  • you consider your Volvo sexy!
  • you consider moving away from the city so you can get more land to fit more Volvos!
  • you know more about Volvos than your dealer.
  • you buy your kids a newer Volvo than your own.
  • you start reading Haynes manuals for fun!
  • You keep saying sorry to those people that rear end you. "Sorry, my Volvo's too strong.."
  • The parts guys know your name and ask which Volvo you need parts for.
  • Every time you pass a non-Volvo car with your 1983 244 GL, you want to toss the driver a quarter and say "Here buy a real car."  (Every time I see a Neon, Cavalier, Geo)
  • The dealer calls, to ask if you've got that spare part...
  • When getting tires, you never leave the car's side.
  • Your kids have a blocking system on their ears that goes on every time you mention a Volvo.
  • You take the Haynes manual to the loo, even when there's nothing wrong with the car.
  • The salvage yard calls you every time a Volvo is junked.
  • You break your transmission, but it doesn't matter because you have three more automatics and three more stickshifts in your backyard.
  • Your cars last longer than your marriage.
  • You have more Volvos in your yard than there are in Scottsdale.
  • You look at a used Volvo on the dealer's lot and you know more about the car than the salesman.
  • "Low Mileage Car" means less than 200,000 miles.
  • You argue that "Volvo-styling" is NOT an oxymoron.
  • Every time you see another Volvo on the road, your head turns, you get a quick read on its condition and how much it would cost to fix it up.
  • 100,000 miles is synonymous with "break in period."
  • Your local dealer calls you for help locating parts.
  • Whenever you see two boxes stacked on top of each other, you can't help but pause and admire the simple pleasing aesthetics.
  • As a child when you got a new HotWheels or Matchbox, you opened the box, removed the toy car . . . and played with the box.
  • Your dog knows when you're within a mile of home by the squeal of your brakes.
  • You are buying your 25th Volvo, but have parted with a only one, which you still maintain out of courtesy so no hack wrencher can screw it up. 
    kissing bugs
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