Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Another Town and One More Show

It was that time of year again and so off we went to that local Volkswagen show, the one at the race track a few towns over. It's mostly for the newer Volkswagens, but it's so close that it's kind of silly not to go. So once again we got up unnaturally early and drove the Bus over there. No, I will never understand (or really ever quite trust) morning people. It's just not right.

The weather was its usual extreme: in past years it's either been unseasonably hot and bright, or unseasonably frigid and windy. It went with frigid this year, which was really very kind of it; the swap meet part (where we were) is held at the top edge of the racetrack (the track being set into a bit of a hill, like the amphitheater at Pompeii, come to think of it) and the wind just loves to come screaming across it at top speed. But we managed to set up in such a way that the Bus was blocking most of it. Well, in theory, anyway. I suppose it did, kind of; but given the ground clearance on it really it just funneled all the wind underneath it, which meant that it was all focused on our lower legs and feet. And when your feet are cold, the rest of you probably is too, even if you're wearing your winter coat and a scarf, which of course I was, because I'm no fool. I know that April in New England is really still a winter month, daffodils or no.

So we pretty much froze, which was unpleasant but not unexpected; though at least it didn't rain.

But bizarrely enough, freezing weather or no (and there were an awful lot of frankly insane people in of all things, flip-flops) the place was packed. When we looked down at the track, where the show cars were parked, it was completely full, which it certainly had not been the past couple of years. It was even more remarkable because this year it was (unavoidably) scheduled for the same day as another big VW thing in Connecticut, which you would have thought would draw off the crowds.

There were also a lot more old Volkswagens there down in the showfield, and so a lot more old Volkswagen enthusiasts walking around, which was good for us as they of course do need parts. Which meant we were pretty busy. Here's the spread. It's the usual.

We (well, Tara) also talked to quite a few guys looking for other parts; in fact one of them came by the house the next day and bought some more stuff, which is all right in my book. There were also a few guys who stopped by and asked if this was Walter's stuff, which of course it was; two of them were guys who had known my father from way back. I knew who they were, or at least their names; it had probably been thirty years since I'd seen them and would not have recognized them. They asked about my father, naturally, and were not surprised to find he'd died last year. There were other people there who'd known him too, or had bought parts (or cars) from him at one point, or who used to come over every week and learn about Volkswagens from him. It was very strange, the way they talked about it; like he was this Volkswagen guru dispensing precious wisdom, while they sat rapt at his knee as a disciple. It struck me as really very odd. Maybe because it sounded so fatherly. Which is not something I, personally, ever experienced him to be, this person who was my father.

All in all I'd call it a success, though we didn't make as much as we usually do at the other, more specifically old Volkswagen-themed meets; still, it's worth it, and gave me enough pocket change to get some perennials on the way home. Which I planted in the gardens I have dug in this yard that used to be covered with junk cars. I'll call that a victory, one of a distinctly alchemical nature. It is also, I suppose, a kind of revenge. I will take it.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Flowers trump junk cars any day! Huzzah!

Anonymous said...

Have you heard of the concept of the Wonderful Stranger? That's the person who can do no wrong in the hoarder's eyes, always has such wonderful advice, is just so nice and helpful . . . and only associates with the hoarder in a particular setting far away from the hoard itself. I wonder if the same kind of hoarder logic applies to relationships like the one between your father and these people.

Jenny Islander

Thalia said...

That sounds about right, Jenny, but from the stranger's point of view, and they don't realize the role they're playing.