By G. E. Shuman
I want to use this column to just express my thanks to all the readers who encouraged me in my recent, great personal adventure of driving my 1970 Volkswagen Beetle, “Babi” all the way up here to Vermont from her previous home in Florida. That trip was exciting, nerve-wracking, and anything but a sure thing for me, as I made my way north, over the course of three long days. I have shared most of that with you in previous columns, so I won’t go over it all again now.
What I would like to do is just tell you all how wonderful it has been when meeting readers on the street, in restaurants, and especially at Babi’s first car show recently, and having them talk to me about the car. It seems that nearly everyone has a Volkswagen Beetle story from somewhere in their past. They either have owned one, or have known several people who have. The stories are usually about the love-hate relationship people had with those cars. They loved the price and dependability of the car, and hated the limited room. They loved the great winter traction the car provided, and hated the very poor excuse for a heater that they had. In any case, whatever your VW past is, I’m pretty sure you had one, in one form or another. I thank you for sharing your stories with me, and I hope you will continue to do so.
Babi’s biggest fan, I believe, is likely also her smallest fan. This person is one of my very favorite people in the entire world, and one I just love sharing the car with. She is my amazing 5-year-old granddaughter, Zoe. From the very first time Zoe saw the car, this child has just beamed with smiles every time she gets into it. Last Saturday’s car show was no exception. She and her family came to the show, and she spent much of her time there, in the car, playing with the old-fashioned knobs and switches, and smiling some of her biggest smiles. The first time Zoe sat in the car, shortly after I arrived in Vermont with it, she said, through one of those fantastic smiles: “This is a ‘MY’ sized car.” That simple statement seemed pretty profound to me. I wondered how many 5-year-olds are really aware of how large something like a car is. Let me tell you, THIS 5-year-old is aware of everything!
Readers, you know that, over the years, I have shared a lot of things with you, including my feelings, my opinions, and my faith. I feel the need for you to hear, now, what I am about to say. My life, especially my adult life, has brought me many fantastic, God-given blessings, including a wonderful wife, five amazing children, three great sons-in-law, (so far), and 12 perfect grandchildren, (also, so far) and I just need to share that fact with you.
Here’s where I believe those gifts came from. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James, 1:17. Holy Bible.) To me, that really says it all. By that definition of a gift, even Babi is one. Wow!
If you’d like to meet Babi, she is a member of the Vermont Kustom Klassics Car Club, and the next show that she will be in will be at Bond Auto in South Barre, Saturday, July 9, from 5-8 p.m. The show is in support of the Make A Wish Foundation, and I’d love to see you there. You know, Babi can’t sign autographs, but her biggest fan can. If you’re very lucky, maybe you can meet her. She’ll be the adorable 5-year-old girl, smiling from ear to ear, sitting in the “Zoe-sized” car.