Sunday, May 10, 2009

Introducing Shermie

When I was young, I had a dream of retiring at age 55 and begin traveling along the Atlantic Coast from the Canadian Maritimes down through the US to Mexico, Central America, and all the way south to Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of Argentina. I would then return northward along the Pacific Coast all the way up to Alaska and end up wherever I’d decide once the journey was over. The dream did not materialize but a 1974 VW Westfalia did (Yosemite Yellow, as I recall, which isn’t too hard). It had a popup top over a king size mattress. It was equipped with a mini-closet, a mini-sink, a mini-stove, a mini-fridge, and a mini-table top. My first home on wheels!

Delighted with the possibilities, I thought that I could morph the old dream into a more attainable goal, taking into account my finances, or lack thereof. But first I had to fix the van, both mechanically and aesthetically. The running bottom on the sides had deteriorated and was pitted from rust and other assaults on the body. A friend offered to cover it all with sheet metal affixed to the still solid sides of the body with pop rivets. It sounded like a splendid idea. I bought the material and he got to work as soon as the van was out of the shop.

The project completed, he drove the van back to my place and proudly showed off his handy work, suggesting that I spray paint it whatever color I wanted (black) after a coat of primer. My first reaction was, “ goodness, it looks like a Sherman tank!” The name was so fitting that it remained, abbreviated to Shermie. Ready at last, I began planning my first long road trek, delighted to finally put to rest my wandering soul.

Or so I thought. . .


Pleinguy said...

Oh Stargazer,

Shermie reminds me of the VW bus I had many moons ago. I had it fixed up in a similar fashion, and with a super stereo system; although it didn't have the pop-up roof. I had many nights of luxury camping in it. Your post brings back the memories.

Stargazer said...

I guess the memories remain alive ready to spring back to mind, even after the years. When traveling with Shermie, I kept a journal and will relate some of our adventures in the posts to come.
Thank you for your comments. They are always welcome.

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