Every time I hear Og’s message, I find myself reflecting back on my own life moments that seem to fit the life that he is advocating. Maybe I can share some of those here and in the days to come.

But first, hear his reading of such a message here and then continue below as I share such a moment in my own life experience . . .

There are so many as I enjoy thinking back on them. to remind myself to add them in later blogs (and to tickle your curiosity), let me list a few here:
1. learning to swim and almost drowning in Australia at an early (pre-1950’s) age
2. a “birthday suit” moonlight swim off the Great Barrier Reef (at a much later age)
3. tackling trees with dad and Ray
4. piloting an antique open-cockpit bi-plane
5. topless beach discovery with mom at Bondi beach (New South Wales, Australia)
6. discovering Bondi again in Plainfield NJ
7. getting lost and facing danger in a tropical rain forest
8. almost drowning in laughter with fishing buddy, Ray
9. youthful customer service 5 times in one day (or “how to land a job”)
10. almost drowning in the Bahamas
11. ride in a hot air balloon
12. and finally, the one I will lead with today: the “flying Beatle”

My first red VW

After graduating from the family “56 blue and white hard-top convertible Chevy (a truly beautiful car), followed by owning my first and very own “56 Ford (also blue & white, another beautiful classic of a car purchased for $50 and later sold for that same amount – Og would be proud of both as their own very special life experiences), I graduated to a long line of VW bugs, the first being a red one just like in that picture.  It was a truly great car.  But the moment I want to share here is of one late afternoon in Albany, New York, back around 1978 or so.  My son Michael was sitting in the front with visiting nephew, Kyle, in the back seat of that little red bug.  Returning from the city by way of back country roads to our home in Glenmont, we were coming up a slight hill that flattened briefly over a railroad track, that then continued on an incline immediately after the track.  As I approached that track flattened area, I decided to push our speed to give the young guys (eight years old maybe?) a thrill.  (here’s where the Og  moment comes in…)  We hit that crest of the small country road doing 60 (well, I always exaggerate and I’m sure that old VW bug couldn’t do 60 on an incline but give me that leeway in story telling) – we were definitely going faster than we should have (and over the 25mph speed limit).  Mike sensed something coming up and grabbed the “crash” bar that those cars had on the passenger side, while Kyle in the back seat never knew what hit him.  We left the ground – yes, that bug actually flew for a very brief moment – then boom, bottomed out  on the far side of the tracks and kept going up that hill (well, slight incline at least).  Kyle bumped his head on the roof as we all let out a whoop and screamed in thrill and delight, none the worse for the fun filled moment of a lifetime.

Now I told those boys that when we got home in a few minutes, they were not to say anything to anyone about what we had just done.  Hitting the  front door that “secret” lasted about 10 seconds before they both burst with excitement and had to tell everyone what had happened.  It was all taken in stride, no arguments, no “you shouldn’t have done that” or “What were you thinking?”  Just a fun moment the three of us will never forget.

Oh, what about the car, you ask?  In today’s world that would have probably been a $1,000 or more worth of damage/repairs.  With the famous Beatle, a cracked oil pan from hitting the road on landing was replaced for just $50 (yes, that covered both parts and labor at the local VW dealer), a small price to pay for a memory of a lifetime.  Today, older and wiser, would I have done anything different?  “Hell NO!”

Stay tuned for another story in a later post here.

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