Exploring topics to write about
April in Texas brings images of beaches full of spring breakers enjoying a break from a winter that has lingered on way too long, and the iconic bluebonnets that line the highways all over the state. People come from all over the country to visit our beaches and see the hundreds of beautiful birds that migrate to our area. But there is also another migration that takes place this time of year: the migration of Volkswagen enthusiasts to the historic town of Fredericksburg nestled in the scenic hill country.
The Texas VW Classic has become one the largest car show in the southwest, sponsored by many of the state’s car clubs. Hundreds of enthusiasts gather at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park to show off their VW’s and share a one of a kind experience. While I have owned several VW busses in the past I have never been a part of a car club or experienced one of these events and I can tell you that it will not be my last!
We arrived on Friday night after a hairy drive through San Antonio due to a massive rain storm that came through at
about the same time we arrived in the city. What should have been about a 30-minute drive through the city turned into an hour and a half drive as we moved from one accident to another until we were way out of the city! Once we got out of that snarl, it was a leisurely drive through the hill country to reach the park. The scene that greeted us was just magical! VW’s of every imaginable style filled the park. As you can see, from these pictures, a VW is not just a car – it’s an art form! I have often said that a VW will speak to you and tell you what it should be. Judging from these pictures I hope you will agree with me! These first few pictures you are looking at are from members of the Corpus Christi Air Cooled Gang. Yes it is the club I am a member of. These are a great group of people whose knowledge and passion for these vehicles have been a great source of inspiration for me. It’s been twenty plus years since I owned one and if it wasn’t for them my bus would probably still be sitting in my mom’s driveway!
There are those who will turn up their noses at our passion for these vehicles in favor of something that is sleeker and faster, but once again it’s not about where you are going, but the experience of getting there. These vehicles are reminders of a time when adventure was available to you just about anywhere in this country. A time of Jack Kerouac urging young people to not give in to the status quo, but to challenge what has been in favor of what could be imagined. They are memories of the 60’s and Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Starship. They harken back to Surfers in California creating not only a sport but also an entire culture of its own to go with it. These vehicles are a part of our pop culture history and no matter where they go, people always want to come look at them. To let you know that their parents owned one, or they dated someone in high school who had one. We pulled into a convenience store along the way and there were some kids waiting for their bus, who had to come over and look at it and touch it. It’s one of the coolest things about driving my bus, is that people will wave and flash a peace sign as I pass them. It’s as though these vehicles have the ability to provide just a little bit of happiness just by the fact they sit exist.
But I digress LOL… We got our camp set up and spent the evening wandering around meeting people and talking to them about their VW. We met people from all over Texas as well as other states and even several car clubs that came up from Mexico. I had not known that VW’s are big in Mexico and while I had not spoken their dialect of Spanish since my grandparents were alive, it was fun to revive that dialect again and talk to them about their VW’s.
Saturday morning it was time to hit the swap meet. I’m pretty sure that even though we wandered all over the site, we did not see everyone there. This is just one hill full of vendors. We found all sort of parts and pieces that are going to help create the ambience my bus says it needs. We also found out that one of our members is just amazing at canning and bought several different delicious varieties! The whole atmosphere was just amazing, with people sharing their knowledge. If they did not have the part I was looking for they pointed in the direction of other vendors.
Our afternoon cruise took us to Luckenbach where as the song says “ain’t nobody feeling no pain.” Then later an afternoon in Fredericksburg itself. The whole weekend was just fantastic and all too soon it was time to come back home. It was the first major journey that my bus had since we rebuilt the engine and she did very well on the trip there and back and now I am waiting for Christmas to arrive at my house. Hope you enjoy the pictures and I look forward to hearing your VW experience if you have had one!
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