Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Opinion

April 30, 2014

Restoring takes on many meanings

A few years ago I bought a 1977 VW Bug. Every fender was dented. Peeling paint fluttered in the wind and it had no bumpers. It was on its last legs. It even had “salvage” stamped in red letters across its title. Its next stop, if not with me, would probably be the junk yard. It might have been melted down for scrap metal and recycled as a Porsche. Who knows?

But when I drove it, in spite of its rattles, it appealed to me. It was kind of like the Love Bug, Herby, begging for another chance. So, I bought it on a nostalgic impulse and towed it home. When I hooked it to my truck and pulled away from the house where I found it, the wife of its previous owner stood on the porch and applauded. She was happy to see it go, an eyesore removed from her driveway. When I showed it to one of my friends, he asked if I found it at the bottom of a lake. My wife is understanding and allows me these little follies, but made it clear I had to clean it up.

I took it to a body shop where they took one look at it and said, “We don’t do that kind of work.” But they pointed me to someone who did body work in his backyard and had experience with old VWs. He walked around my bug, examined it carefully and announced, “I’m not afraid of it.” That sealed the deal. Mark helped me with a cheap makeover.  

I now drive my VW bug to run errands. Last week the gas gauge registered a quarter of a tank. I left home without my billfold, but thought surely I had enough gas to return home. But the bug was just kidding about the gas. At a major intersection the electric fuel pump went wild gasping for gas. The engine gave a few last chugs and then I was stuck, an old guy blocking traffic in an old bug.

Cars continued to whiz past. Spying a Shell station a couple of blocks in the distance, I crawled out and started pushing. These old bugs are light and, if it is an even or downhill slant, not too hard to get them rolling. After I had pushed it for about a block, a car pulled up, a young man jumped out and started pushing, then another joined him. They insisted I get inside and steer. Apparently my efforts were slowing them down. They shoved me across the street and up the drive where I rolled to a stop next to the gas pump.

A woman stopped and said she just wanted to say that the scene had restored her faith in humanity. I guess it helped mine as well. Both the young men quickly disappeared before I could offer them anything, not that I could since I had forgotten my billfold.

It reminded me that sometimes life is just about being nice, and that there are a lot of nice people in the world willing to give a hand … or a push.  (Philippians 2:3-5).

          ————

Bill Tinsley reflects on life experience and current events from a faith perspective. For comments and prayer requests, email bill@tinsleycenter.com.

 

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