Monday, November 23, 2009

The Great Pumpkin

Sometimes things just happen they way they are supposed to...
(by julie)

A couple years ago while taking a pottery lesson from a crazy Billy Lee in the Newnan Seed Shop, I heard a tale that involved "an orange volkswagen". The actually story went like this... "Oh, I know a guy that throws pottery who lives south of Moreland... a little further... just keep on driving... past Luthersville... You'll see his orange Volkswagen van on the side of the road... he lives there, but just go on in... just tell him you know me." I didn't think much of it at the time, except that it was a crazy story and I would never go looking for this guy.

About the same time, David took some artwork to a gallery in Union Point, Georgia. The couple that own the gallery are a really cool and unique couple. Anne Jenkins is from South Africa and her husband in American, but grew up moving all over Europe with his parents. This self-proclaimed gypsy couple spent their first six years together living on a sailboat in the Mediterranean. Later they owned a Volkswagen Westfalia and attempted to drive from the top of North America to the bottom of South America. Unfortunately a proposed ferry ride in Costa Rica involved them leaving their van and $2000 with a guy they didn't trust, so they turned around and headed back north. When they got tired in Alaska they sold their Westie for cash in a Walmart parking lot. And a few years later they were tag team drivers for Schneider as cross-country truckers while they scoped out a new town to call home. We were inspired by their sense of adventure and freedom.

About a year later we happened to meet this guy at the Cotton Pickin Fair, and when he mentioned that he was a potter and lived in Greenville (which is south of Luthersville), I immediately said "By chance do you have an orange Volkswagen?" Yes he did. Allen Gee has since become a dear friend of ours, not to mention our favorite potter. Once when I was visiting his studio and watching him throw on his wheel, I saw the van in his back yard. I asked to see it up close, and immediately knew David would love it. I couldn't wait to tell him all about it.

I was right. He did love it. Within a few months we were able to make it our own! Oh... and when we told our gypsy friends about their inspiration and our newly purchased '75 VW Westphalia that we affectionately called "The Great Pumplin", Anne exclaimed "That's perfect! 'Pumpkin' was our cb handle when we were driving for Schneider - the big orange truck!" What synchronicity.

We've done some small things to get it ready for our first trip, mainly new tires, a tune-up, and a new canvas top. We're road ready...

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