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Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in PLACES AND THINGS, St Pete Saints, Tampanians | 0 comments

Summer Storms and VW Bugs


vw bug in the rain

Travis Modisette / Flickr / CC

In Florida about late July the summer storms begin, and it rains and rains and rains. Like clock-work we get a good 2-weeks of nothing but rain. Some of the rain is drizzles but most is outright thunderstorms that shake houses and flood neighborhoods. Every few years cities flood and that is when it gets fun. When I was a kid such a summer flood happened. The neighborhood Skinny-leg lake flooded two streets in each direction and it stopped right in the middle of my street sparing my house. So, like true Floridians we grabbed canoes, floats, floating lawn chairs and hit the water. What else would there be for us to do?

puddle reflecting sky and streetlamp

Johndan Johnson-Eilola / Flickr / CC

That was the same summer we discovered that VW Bugs float. As long as you keep your foot on the gas pedal and do not let up a VW Bug will float for about 10-15 feet in about 2 feet of water. Mind you, this was my mother’s discovery. Back in the day church was important– kids needed vacation Bible school and come hail or high water my mama made sure we got to church. I still remember my mother hitting that huge puddle that blocked our path from church and her saying, “Hold on!”, as the old Bug’s wheels lost traction with the road and spun against nothing as we literally floated across the water. The VW careened a little this way and that, but after a few very tense moments we felt the wheels grab traction on the other side of the huge puddle and we were back on our way to VBS. We did make it to church that day.

Years later, as a young adult I bought a bright green VW bug from my cousin. It, too, had it’s own experience in water.  Yes, it was in one of his earliest wake boarding videos. We loved that bug but eventually we grew up and moved on to a sensible car with lots of safety features. I do have to admit, though, I miss it when it rains.

Wakeboarding VW Bug :

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Audra Christian

Audra M. Christian is an avid writer, and a knower of all things in Tampa Bay. She is a native St Pete saint and lives in St Pete, Florida with her husband, motley crew of daughters and tiny little maltese, Zsazsa Gabor.

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