Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

February 26, 2010

The VW Bus!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Oh, how I loved our VW bus, or minivan as some called it.  After my blog about the hippies, I began to remember our 1962 VW bus.  It was the era when the preferred vehicle by hippies was the VW bus.  But as you can see, we didn’t paint it like most of those owned by hippies.  We were not part of that movement, but we did think they had made a good decision about their transportation.  Our bus provided for some very special needs in our family when we owned it.  But I am getting ahead of my story.  Let me back up some months before we purchased it used.

We felt God was leading us to return to graduate school.  So I resigned my job in insurance, we cashed in some life insurance policies, borrowed some money, and headed off to school in Atlanta.  We owned a nice Buick but knew that it was not possible for us to keep it while I was in school.  We did know that it would be wise not to sell it until we were settled in school.  We needed to pull a large trailer with our furniture and that Buick was the best car for this purpose.

At school, we found a basement apartment where we could live.  As soon as we were settled, we addressed the matter of another car.  When we saw this VW bus, we sensed it was the right vehicle for us.  It would be economical and yet large enough to serve us in many ways.

I would leave for school early in the mornings.  Most days, Judy would pack me a lunch because my class schedule did not allow enough time for me to come home.  Judy and Jennifer were stranded while I was gone, but with the age of Jennifer, it was a full-time responsibility for Judy to be with her.  I was not able to be home many hours as I was employed in late afternoons and evenings.  The VW bus became a second home to me in many ways.

The bus was so versatile.  We kept the middle seat out most of the time.  It gave more room for more uses.  We could carry almost anything.  We even bought used furniture, a sofa, for example, and got a bargain because we could remove it from the man’s store immediately!  I think he was surprised!  Perhaps he had not really intended to sell it at that price.

I made a small single bed to fit in the back.  This was so that we could take my grandmother with us to Florida for Christmas.  She was in her 90s and this provided for her to lie down for most of the trip.  The best service the bus gave to me was in the area of my school work.  I had a small desk that I kept in there during the school days.  I had a typewriter (manual, of course) and all that I needed for an office in the bus.  When I had breaks between class schedules, I would go to the bus and study.  Many research papers were typed in this bus.  Of course, I also kept a small collection of books and resources in the bus.

For this one year in school, this VW bus was truly a blessing.  After graduation, we moved to a church field where we had been called to pastor.  As we arrived late in the afternoon at the new pastorium, the church members were there with a large dinner, and a new Chevrolet in the carport!  We did not need two vehicles, and so  we prepared to sell the VW bus that had been such a helper to us. We sold the bus to the barber in town.  I still love that bus!

Perhaps a follow-up could be of interest.  The barber did not have enough funds to pay cash.  We accepted a trade of a 1958 Hillman/English Ford.  Everything was different on it.  We had no intentions of keeping it, but only to sell it.  Our second child was due shortly.  Judy went to the doctor on her routine schedule.  He sent her straight to the hospital.  She called me, and since we had this extra car, I drove it toward the hospital.  I said, toward, because I did not get there.  It was not only the difficultly of understanding the strange vehicle, but it had no gas.  I ran out of gas, parked on the side of the road, and hitchhiked to the hospital.  I just barely made it before the delivery!  All I could think was, “The VW bus would not have let me down!”

Aren’t you thankful for memories?




  1. I certainly love your memories. You actually painted a picture with your words.

    Comment by Diane Yates — March 6, 2010 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

  2. Love the story about your bus. I currently own a 1962 VW Bus and my family and I really enjoy summer evening crusies in it to a local drive in, or out for ice cream. THanks for sharing your memories.

    Comment by Todd Mattingly — July 1, 2011 @ 8:03 am | Reply

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