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The Love of a Bug

Susan Taylor

I got my first Bug when I was 15 years old. My dad had brought a split window when I was just a kid, and I think the love was immediate. I had never driven a stick, didn't know an automatic from a standard but I needed a car, to get from school to my first job. I saw "the one" parked at a gas station with a For Sale sign attached and when dad got tired of coming from the golf course to take me to my job, he agreed to look at it.

When we pulled up, I didn't even have to start it to know it would be mine. I had saved $500 from babysitting and my job and when dad asked, "Do you have the money to buy this?" I was proud to say yes. Since dad was a genius mechanic, he talked about the car with the guy at the gas station, got him down to $400 and I paid in cash. Dad asked after the fact, "Do you know how to even drive a stick?" I replied, "No.". He laughed and said, "....well I guess you will by the time you get home." I chugged and sputtered all the way down 15th Street, in Del City, Oklahoma, killing it twice, and thanking God it was a straight line to our house. Arriving home, dad was waiting, smiling.

Oh, how I loved the car!!! A 1965, factory blue. I have also owned a 1968, 1972, 1973 Super Beetle and finally a 1974 Super Beetle right off the show room floor. From there I moved to a Rabbit, then a Scirroco. But my heart was always with my Super Beetle, that I took off to college driving. An Oklahoma girl, I was headed to San Diego for College and I had the plan to drive all the way in my beloved Beetle. As I packed up that morning to leave, my dad was there standing in the yard, smiling, no doubt worried sick. I put my little dog in the car and started the engine. Waiving good-bye, I headed down the street, rounded the corner and was broad sided by an oncoming car I never saw. I got out of my destroyed car, screaming and crying, running all the way home back into my dads arms. A couple of dates later the insurance company called it a total loss and said I was lucky to be alive.

Dad bought me a ticket and I flew to Cali with a promise that once the insurance settled I would buy another one there. Once settled I bought my Rabbit. In 2012, my husband, a career United States Marine, returned from Afghanistan. My gift, from him, was THAT car. That beloved Super Beetle I had lost to an accident as a teenager. This one is a girl, straight up fully restored, only painted my favorite color: Purple. And the little love bug inside, is my granddaughter.

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