Tuesday, February 7, 2012
I remember when Dad first brought you home. It was pretty exciting. I remember rushing out to the driveway and clambering over my siblings to be the first to touch you. And I remember Mum saying "David, the one thing I specified was that I didn't want leather seats because they're sure to tear with kids". She was right of course, as Mums will be. But Dad's mechanically minded mate had said that you were a good deal. And now, you were ours.
Your full name 'Herbie Digger Snowy Gogh' was bestowed upon you as a collaborative act. The older, cooler, culturally aware children (AKA me and Jesse-Ana) wanted to name you after Herbie - you know that famous movie star VW beetle that travels around Europe stopping thieves and creating mischief and hilarity. That Herbie was your namesake. Shem voted for Digger. His 4 year-old all-consuming boyishness convinced him that something big and machinery-like had to be named appropriately. Keita-Alix (7 year old, lover of pink, sparkles and the shoe aisle) wanted to name you snowy. I mean, In my 12 year old wisdom, I thought it was a little cliche and just...SNOWY ??? but it WAS cute. And finally Gogh. Well, you know all about 'Dad jokes' and puns - this was one of them. A Van...called Gogh...get it? get it? Yeah I thought it was pretty funny too. I almost voted for it just to show the maturity of my sense of humour and my advanced intellect. But I decided to go for consistency and stuck with Herbie.
In the end it was the family democracy which determined the order of your names, and, being the sort of family who likes to play "everyones a winner", we had to include all your names in order of decreasing popularity (Yay me! and Sorry Dad).
The years have fairly flown by. I learned to drive in you. Bunnyhopping, stalling and lurching around Levin. You dropped me off on my first day of high school. Your screeching rear door announced the arrival of our family at many events. Your unique frame made us easily spottable around town. Every now and again, Dad would lose control at the wheel and we would find ourselves at McDonalds, even though Dad tried to stop you "No Herbie, No! Where are you taking us HErbie?" From one end of the island to another you have been there. Through family holidays, and the inevitable laughter and arguments they entail, rain, snow, wind, hail and sun. You have been there. It truly is hard to imagine life without you because I know that there will never be another Herbie.
Rust in peace, old friend (I'm sorry, I take after my father and I just couldn't resist it!). I hope you are going to a better place (and not the wreckers)