My Bug

Overview


Hundreds of stories and photographs, drawings and anecdotes in praise of that singularly American phenomenon, the Beetle, with contributions from Russell Baker, George Plimpton, Roy Blount, Jr., George Booth, Diane Ackerman, David Amram, Armistead Maupin, Seymour Chwast, and many more.
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Overview


Hundreds of stories and photographs, drawings and anecdotes in praise of that singularly American phenomenon, the Beetle, with contributions from Russell Baker, George Plimpton, Roy Blount, Jr., George Booth, Diane Ackerman, David Amram, Armistead Maupin, Seymour Chwast, and many more.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YA-This captivating book is a gold mine of memories of life with the little car that could. Roy Blount, Reeve Lindberg, Daniel Pinkwater, Russell Baker, and Robb White recount memories of the "cuddly transport of the Woodstock generation." Whether describing the vagaries of a heating system with a mind of its own, or the battery under the back seat, or the perfect stashing place under the front floor mat, it's clear that these owners really cared about their cars. The Bug is also the most popular "art car," one used as a canvas, and more than 100 beguiling pictures are included; photographs of a stone beetle, flower-powered beetles, stuffed beetles, even lit-up beetles. Teens who have only heard stories of the "classic" beetle will appreciate knowing why it was so beloved and they'll relate to the dialogue between a former Beetle addict and his teenage daughter who owns a new one. Also included are lists of books and movies featuring the Bug in one way or another. A thoroughly engaging visit with one of the icons of the `60s and `70s.-Susan H. Woodcock, Chantilly Regional Library, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579651350
  • Publisher: Artisan
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999
  • Pages: 159
  • Product dimensions: 8.24 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author


Michael J. Rosen has written, edited, or illustrated a veritable kennel of books, including Workman's Kids' Best Dog Book; Artisan's Horse People, Fishing with Dad, and My Bug; and The Dog Department: James Thurber on Hounds, Scotties, and Talking Poodles and May Contain Nuts: A Very Loose Canon of American Humor. Many of his anthologies have supported humane efforts through the Company of Animals Fund, which he founded in 1990. He lives with his pack on 100 acres in central Ohio.
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Read an Excerpt


ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN

The fall of 1968 I turned sixteen, dyed my hair blond, and acquired my first VW Bug. I learned to drive that fall by motoring in circles around my parents' front lawn, which, while a substantial size, did not provide a chance to go beyond second gear. The following February I had my first accident.

My best friend, Nancy, and I did everything together, including having our roots done at the beauty shop. As Nancy was being combed out, they took me from under the heat machine that activated the chemicals applied to my hair. The beautician began to comb, and my hair started falling out in disturbingly large clumps. When she finished, to my horror, there were still some strands of hair that made it to my chin, but most of my hair was less than one inch long! The beautician suggested I wear a wig until my hair grew long enough for a decent haircut. For the next month, me and my blond bouffant became close friends.

Two weeks later on the way home from the supermarket with hamburger and buns for a sloppy joe dinner in hand, I gravely miscalculated a turn. Crossing three lanes of southbound traffic to make a left-hand turn into the northbound lanes during rush hour was a little too ambitious. Halfway across the road I had to stop to avoid hitting another car making a left-hand turn from the main roadway. Unfortunately, a car heading south didn't see me sitting there until it was too late. It struck my right front fender, sending my Bug spinning in a circle. Partway through the spin, the driver's door opened and somehow I managed to fall out onto the roadway. Dazed but seemingly in one piece, I stood up only to witness my Bug jumping over the curb and heading off toward the Drug Fair without me. I began chasing it, yelling, "Somebody please stop my car!"

By now the Bug made a ninety-degree turn and was at least heading parallel to all the parked cars in the Drug Fair lot rather than straight for them. To my enormous relief, it then made another ninety-degree turn and abruptly stopped at the curb.

A U.S. Parks policeman got to me first. I was standing next to my now stationary Bug when he came up, saying he would call an ambulance immediately. I saidthat wasn't necessary, I was a little shaky but all right. He looked at me quizzically and said, as if not to upset me any further, that I had blood pouring down my forehead. I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw that somehow, even though the Safeway bag was still in the car, hamburger juice had spattered all over me. Just as I turned around to reassure the policeman that it was hamburger juice not blood, the policeman reached over to check my nonexistent wound, knocking my wig askew and causing a gasp from the gathering crowd that was sure I had been scalped.

--Shirley Gromen

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Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION

THE SHAPE OF THE FUTURE

STONE VW

HOW I GOT THE BUG IN MY EYE

GIVE ME A BRAKE

FROZEN BUG

THINKING SMALL

RUM-RUNNING

FRANKENBEETLE

WHAT'S THAT BEETLE SMELL?

GEORGE BOOTH'S BUG

ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN

NINETEEN SIXTY-FOUR OR THEREABOUTS

HMMZ

A FEW MEMORABLE MOMENTS IN THE BEETLE'S LIFE HISTORY

RIDING WEDGIE

LINDBERGH'S COCKPIT

THE DAY MY KEY CHAIN CAUGHT FIRE

FORWARD OR BACKWARD?

SPECKLED, RUSTED, SALTED, BATTERED, BLISTERED, TRUSTY BUG

FLOAT SOME, JET SOME

LE COCCINELLE

BUGS ON FILM

WANT A LIFT?

A FEW SATISFIED BEETLE OWNERS

CROSS-COUNTRY PLAYPEN

IT AIN'T MINE, BABE

LIVING LARGE

DAVE THE JACK

THERE'S JUST SOMETHING ABOUT BUGS

PROM NIGHT BEETLE

8 UNMISTAKABLE THINGS ABOUT MY VW

TOP TEN BEETLE BOOKS FOR ROADSIDE READING

BABY-SITTING BEETLE

BORDER-JUMPING BUG

BOOPMOBILE

THAR SHE BLOWS

HOW TO IMPRESS A ZILLION GERMANS IN TEN MINUTES OR LESS

THE BUG AND I

RANDY & SOPHIE COHEN'S FATHER-DAUGHTER OLD BEETLE-NEW BEETLE COMPARISON CHART

WHERE CAN MY VOLKSWAGEN BE?

KEEP ON BUGGIN'

THE FUEL USED

MACK BEETLE

PUTTERING AROUND

THE SUMMER OF HOT BUG LOVE

I'D RECOGNIZE THAT SHAPE ANYWHERE

VOLKSWAGEN

REAR WINDOW

WHEN I WAS IN EAST AFRICA

HIGH IN THE MID-SEVENTIES

PUNCH BUGGY

WATER BUG

JUST MARRIED

HEAT OF THE BEET'

MY BUG'S BUGS

A TEST OF VW POWER

THE HEAD OF THE CLASS

OUR OWN HERBIE, THE LOVE BUG

BEETLE STUFFING

SOMETHING BLUE

FLIGHT OF THE BEETLE

DREAMING OF WARMER PLACES

BLACK BEAUTY

GROOVY KIND OF TOWN

THE MODEL

WINE, WOMEN, SONG--AND GASOLINE

LADYBUGGING

LEAF MEN

'HOOD ORNAMENT

OWNING A BUG SOMETIMES MAKES YOU DO FUNNY THINGS

BUG JUICE

ART CAR BUGS

ALL I EVER WANTED

IN THE HOT SEAT

NON BACKSEAT DRIVERS HERE

BODY AND SOUL

SPECIAL DELIVERY

MAKE YOURSELF UNCOMFORTABLE

FLOATSWAGON

DANGEROUS MOBILITY

VOLKSTOTE

FRANZ LIDZ'S BUGS IN SPORTS

ALL DRESSED UP AND NOWHERE TO PARK

INTERESTING TIMES

THINGS THAT FIT IN MY BIG BAD BUG

A CURIOSITY OF BEETLES

WHAT HIT ME?

VALERIE AND HER VOLKSWAGENS

DEATH BE NOT PROUD

THE BEAT GOES ON

SWEET DREAMS

FROM "A SNOB'S GUIDE TO STATUS CARS" 1964

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

CREDITS

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Foreword

Hundreds of stories and photographs, drawings and anecdotes in praise of that singularly American phenomenon, the Beetle, with contributions from Russell Baker, George Plimpton, Roy Blount, Jr., George Booth, Diane Ackerman, David Amram, Armistead Maupin, Seymour Chwast, and many more.
—From the back cover.
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