I couldn’t help myself….as we drove into our Glen Iris neighborhood in the Mini Cooper, I had to let out the “Wheee!” as Dan flew over the famous big bump. For a brief moment we were airborn, and it brought back memories of joy riding with Heavy D in my ’66 VW Bug when I was a teenager, so many years ago.
Mom traded an antique bedroom set for the faded old red Beetle when I was fifteen. Since I couldn’t drive it yet, it sat in the driveway and I sat in it, dreaming of the day when I could actually boat around town in my very own car. My brother attempted to teach me how to drive stick until he lost patience with me for stalling out far too many times. The clutch was not my friend. I didn’t care- I kept right on practicing, driving around the block and stalling out over and over again until I finally got the hang of it. My father heard about my “new” car and pronounced it a death trap, but to me it was the most wonderful car ever. It took three times through inspection before it passed, and I had to learn to anticipate when they’d ask me to sound the horn in the old six volt system, as there was a delay as the horn warmed up, “meeeEEEP!” Timing was everything. It got me to tons of band and orchestra practices and to Florida State (even if the accelerator pedal did fall off during the trip.
Mom and I would go for rides so that I could practice driving, and we often chose Oak Hill Drive. It was a newer road that hadn’t been developed much at all yet in what would become a bustling bedroom community of Tampa. There was a long stretch with little traffic…and one huge bump. I would build up speed (Mom always said she felt like she was going into outerspace when she rode with me in the Bug…but just for the record, she was the one with the ‘FLASH’ license plate. I came by it naturally.)
Okay…so where was I? Oh , yes, picking up speek on Oak Hill Drive…As we approached the big bump, Heavy D would begin to giggle…”Oh no, Oh, no…hahahah!” and then we’d hit the bump. “Wheeeee!” followed by giggles galore. Then I would turn around, and head back toward the bump again. We were easily amused. It was a memory that I will treasure forever. So much so, that when I got to choose the first car that I got to pick by myself…it was a red VW Bug….but a convertible this time. Always good to upgrade. Mom loved it, too.