Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tom Brown's VW

Dear Emma,

You asked me to tell the story of the day I ran into your grandfather's VW. And because I love you, here goes.

To begin with, I myself was in a VW. And now that I think about it, I'm not sure Tom was, although I have always remembered it that way, because what could be a more irresistible image? Two bugs colliding!

Anyway, I was HAULING down the sloping part of 1400 East, because I was late for Mutual. And when Ann is late, you should NOT get in her way, even if she has the yield sign and you don't. Apparently, however, no one gave your grandfather the memo. So as I was hauling and planning to take a right turn, suddenly your grandfather innocently appeared in the intersection, also on his way to MIA with a car crammed full of kids.

Seriously, Emma, it was like a clown car. EVERYONE was in there. Your mom. John. Allison. Maybe Elizabeth. The mayor. A few Osmonds. Several foreign dignitaries, including the president of France and also his mistress. Also the Pope. So you get the picture. The car was REALLY full. And it didn't stop, because it had the right of way. And I didn't stop because (I don't know) I just kind of forgot to.

I'll always remember the look on everybody's faces as I hurtled toward them. Their eyes were wide and their mouths were open and it was clear the president of France was shouting "Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu!" Meanwhile, your grandfather, the kindest man in the world, was all "I can't believe this is going to happen. But I'm pretty sure it is."

And it did.

Everybody was okay.

And nobody spoke of it again. Not even that night at Mutual. Meanwhile both cars got magically fixed by the VW fairies, aka Tom and LaVell.

See how many memories I have of you and your family, Emma?


Emma said...

I knew that they had a tiny VW Karmann Ghia...those days without seat belts. They'd take turns sitting on laps. I'm amazed that nobody was ever hurt! Thanks for the story.

Erin said...

I can totally see you doing this. Ha Ha. Thanks for the laugh this morning.

radagast said...

Idea for a YA creative nonfiction novel: A series of letters written to a 21st-century young girl from her distant great-aunt? old family friend about her experiences growing up in the 60s and 70s. Perhaps with responses from the girl. Tittle: Dear Emma. Author: AEC

radagast said...

Or title, if you prefer.

Phil Cannon said...

This is awesome, Mom!

When I was in Belgium, when Frere Kahne found out that I was somehow connected to Tom Brown, he immediately opened up to me. Frere Kahne just loved the man and still had vivid memories of both Tom and his children. Such a small world.

I love you, Momma. I miss Becky. She was such a wonderful and amazing person... just like you.

Louise Plummer said...

I always wanted to date Tom Brown. And your father too.