Hippie Transportation

Volkswagens have been a significant part of  my life for more than fifty years.  My love affair with this great little vehicle began with the green beetle that I bought new upon returning home from overseas in 1965, and continues to this day with a beetle convertible. Over the years our family rolling stock has included a Super Beetle and a Squareback, and we were never disappointed with these very dependable (but small) modes of transportation.

When I became a police officer in the late 1960’s it immediately became clear to me that I was not the only person enamored of VW beetles … they were also the primary mode of transportation for that group of young people commonly referred to (at that time) as “Hippies.”  The ubiquitous bug seemed to be everywhere at that time, and with good reason … they were relatively inexpensive, easy to maintain and fairly reliable.

The Volkswagen beetles of that era also had several little-publicized features that, for some, were very important … they had a number of interior nooks and crannies that were perfect for hiding contraband like (gasp) marijuana.  And if the owner of that type of car was so inclined, the beetle also had a good-sized open area under the back seat that could conceal large quantities of … well, most anything.

Despite all these neat hiding places, I always wondered why the occupants of VW beetles were not better at keeping illegal items out of sight.  On many occasions, after stopping one of those cars for a traffic violation, I would approach the driver’s window only to see marijuana or other sorts of contraband lying on the seat or the floor in plain view.  How could this happen?  Did the occupants forget that this material was just sitting there?

Well, to answer my own question … that, in fact, may have been the reason.  One of the side effects of marijuana use is reported to be diminished powers of recall … and just for the record, my fading memory is attributable to age rather than the ravages of drug use!  But speaking of drugs, I am reminded of the reason why it has taken so long for marijuana to be legalized … the Hippies kept forgetting where they left the petitions! (smile)

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