I’ll be in the van listening to the James Gang

vw van with privy

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 19, 1972

…  surprised I made it through my senior year. I was not focused at all. A teacher once said “Seems to me …” and I didn’t hear the end of the sentence because all I really heard was “Seems to me … you don’t wanna talk about it. Seems to me … you just turn your pretty head and walk away.” James Gang record — so good AND they’re from right here in CLEVELAND!!!!!

I can’t help it. I like rock and roll. I can’t help it that my goobery brother makes me look bad because he has decided he wants to study actuarial science. Who decides that when they’re a junior in high school? Huh?

So my grandpa has decided that I need to get a job this summer before I go to college and I said what if I don’t and he told me to sit on the “daveno” so we could have a discussion about it. Who calls it a daveno? Geez Grandpa you old geezer, it’s called a davenport. It’s not the 50s any more. So he sat there and said maybe he would start charging me rent this summer because when he was my age he was already in the army and saving up money to get married. Whoa Nellie, I’m not planning on either one of those things. So I said I’d live in my VW van this summer. And he said there’s no “privy” in there. And I said I’d rig something up.


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“Pink Moon”

full moon and empty arms

Handwritten page of a diary dated March 1, 2000

…  get out on the terrace and there’s a giant pink moon. So I start singing “Pink Moon” from that Volkswagen commercial. It’s still my favorite commercial of all time. These four friends are driving out in the middle of nowhere to find a party and they get there only to decide the party looks lame compared to driving around in their Cabrio under the pink moon — and from having gone to a million of those, I can say they made the right decision. The problem is that after driving on obscure roads for half an hour, you can’t just get there and see that it’s lame and say, “well, I can’t stay long but I was just in the neighborhood so I thought I’d drop in.” You were so not in the neighborhood.

Then Grandma comes out on the terrace and I point to the moon, and she says it reminds her of a song, and I say “yeah, right?” and I start singing like Nick Drake, “pink pink pink pink … pink moon” and she starts singing “full moon and empty arms, the moon is there for us to share but where are you?” I said that’s a new one on me and she said it was sung by Eddie Fisher, and I said who’s Eddie Fisher and she said “Remember when you were little and you liked Princess Leia? It’s her father”

I said “sorry Grandma, but Princess Leia’s father is Darth Vader.”


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VW bus

Volkswagen van

Handwritten page of a diary dated June 15, 1966

…  since Grandpa’s house smells like old people ever since Great Grandma moved in with him. But then I asked him if I could park my van behind his garage for the summer (because it is his very own daughter who is driving me out of our house by saying that if she hears my radio playing the Beaker Street show on that Little Rock station ONE MORE NIGHT she will make me move in the basement with Uncle Dwayne) (the chainsmoker) (and she will turn my bedroom into a sewing room).

So Grandpa not only said yes I could live back there beside his old truck, but he got some old circus tent out of his garage and draped it around a porta-potty. He calls it my “privy.” I thanked him about a hundred billion times and he said some day when I’m “rollin’ in clover” I can pay him back by giving him a little cottage on the grounds of my estate. So I said “Deal.”


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Published in: on January 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm  Comments (2)