In 2007 we traveled to Colorado to buy an old VW Bus we saw on The The trip was quite an adventure. Since then, we’ve been fixing her up when we can find extra money and craftsmen willing to work on her at the same time. Presently, she is mechanically sound, sporting white walls and a renovated body with a fresh paint job, new windshield glass, LED headlamps, and those adorable white bumpers that were standard back in 1966. We found an auto upholstery guy in Dayton who recovered her front seats in leather back in 2019 and will be making rear cushions to match as soon as we get the bed installed. When we moved here, we got lucky and found Dave, a guy who works exclusively on old Volkswagens. You might think, with so few old Bugs and Busses still out there, that Dave is a starving artist, sitting around like the Maytag repairman, waiting for the phone to ring. You couldn’t be more wrong. Vintage VW’s in various states of disrepair are parked all over his property, eagerly awaiting their turn in the garage. Last week when Dave texted and said he was ready to do the interior, we wasted nary a minute getting her there. She’s got seatbelts now, the floor is in, and her interior panels are being crafted as we speak. Next, he will install the furniture I built last year (from a kit custom-made in the UK that cost us, like, a bazillion dollars), reframe and seal the pop-out side windows, fabricate new windows for the snow top (Google it), and install a new roof vent. I’m hoping she’ll be show-ready soon, and come October, we’ll be riding across Lake Erie on the ferry for Kombis on Kelleys (Island), sponsored by our local VW league, appropriately named LEAKOIL.

The poem below, an ESPINELA, is part of Muri’s 2022 Poetry Month Challenge.


The renovation has begun
at last, on our Volkswagen Bus
With luck, she’ll be returned to us
in time to have some summer fun

Windows sealed, door panels done,
Z-bed and cabinets in place,
we’ll journey in our groovy space
to campgrounds hosting Kombi shows
and gawk all day at rows and rows
of Splitties, Vanagons, and Bays


  1. murisopsis April 20, 2022 / 6:42 am

    Joan, I’m definitely not letting Sparky read this one – his dream is “van life” and in a vintage VW bus would be the pinnacle! Speaking of the top – this Espinela is tops in every way!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan April 20, 2022 / 8:32 am

      LOL. Half the men I know dream of (or have dreamed of) living the Van Life. It is not nearly as glamorous as they imagine. Vintage VWs are squirrelly, with a tendency to overheat, if you tootle along faster than 55 mph. An RV of any stripe would be more reliable and comfortable, with a full sized bed, toilet/sewage system, and air conditioning. VW Bus ownership is more cult than actual van life. There is a local VW club here, so we only have to go a few miles to enjoy shows and functions.


  2. Tippy Gnu April 20, 2022 / 7:19 am

    Sounds like your VW is a time machine that will take you back to the 1960s. Don’t forget to wear your love beads, and tie-die clothes. I hope you have fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan April 20, 2022 / 8:34 am

      I can’t really go BACK to the sixties as I was barely there to start with. I have a couple tie dye shirts and a hippie skirt that I pack in the little closet. No love beads, but I’m sure they sell them on EBay or Etsy. Dave has the 411 on all things VW; I’ll ask him. When Dave got married this summer, he rented a porta-potty and let guests camp overnight on his property if they wanted. Lots of Bus owners in attendance. We would have done it if our van was ready then.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tippy Gnu April 20, 2022 / 9:15 am

        You don’t have to have lived in the ’60s to get in the spirit of it. It’s all about peace and free love, and all kinds of idealistic things like that. Dave sounds like a hip dude. I hope you find the love beads.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. churchmousie April 20, 2022 / 9:32 am

    The 60’s were fun for me, so I enjoy reading about your adventure. My final foster family had one of those VW buses, and Mom painted it in various color swatches all over the outside. We loved traveling in it!

    I love your poem, and how it unfolds the story. Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 20, 2022 / 9:49 am

      Cool beans! Like the VW in the movie Little Miss Sunshine? Where they had to push-start it, then jump in the side door while it was moving? I love taking her out because she makes people smile and wave, esp kids.


  4. judyrutrider April 20, 2022 / 12:23 pm

    Remember those old VW commercials. I loved the one with the van on blocks in the back yard, kids playing around it, and the voice over said, “Agonizing reappraisals,” It’s still one of my favorite quotes. If memory serves, the wife’s name in the ad was Moonbaby.
    I can’t believe you didn’t include photos with this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 20, 2022 / 2:40 pm

      LOL! Our first VW van, a 1973 Bay was named “Dreamspinner.” The gal who sold us our current VW van goes by “Bugjoy” on gmail. Dave still has it in his garage, pics to come.


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