Aunt Gertie and the Purple Bus

Aunt Gertie loves the Volkswagen. Courtesy photoAunt Gertie loves the Volkswagen. Courtesy photo

Aunt Gertie flashed a little leg next to the magical Purple VW Bus!  My favorite!  There I was being a damn ol’ hussy and looking like a streetwalker but the crowds were snappin’ away with their cell phones loving every minute of my antics!  I wandered up and down Main Street amongst all the fabulous cars, trucks and motorcycles at the Annual Seal Beach Classic Car Show.  There was something for everyone at this huge yearly event, including food, drinks, prizes and loads of eye candy.

Aunt Gertie was ready to jump in that dadgum van and head to San Francisco.  The license plate said it all, FNZ UP!  I wanted to travel back to the past when I was a teenager standing on the corner of Haight-Ashbury where it all began.  Back then Aunt Gertie was a real hippie, a wild and woolly young girl ready for spur-of-the-moment action and adventure.  I wore a green jacket from the surplus store with a very colorful headband.  I was stylin’ during that special time called the Summer of Love.

Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Jefferson Airplane and many other bands were singing, strumming and driving all the young people crazy at Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium.  Grace Slick was telling us about Alice and the White Rabbit, Janis let it all hang out crooning and screaming blues & rock and Jimi was burning up his Fender Stratocaster turned upside down and played left-handed!  I was sleeping in my damn Volkswagen bus wondering what the hell it all meant!  The mushrooms didn’t turn me on but I was fascinated by all the strange people.  My eyes were loving all the excitement of this once in a lifetime experience.

Now Aunt Gertie disappears into a purple day dress with a cee-gar stuffed in my mouth floating along the Flower Child Highway!  Life is pretty damn good!

Signing off from Seal Beach, the Tiny Crown Jewel of the Southern California Coastline!  Come and visit us soon!

Karen Hadley, creator of Aunt Gertie, can be reached by email at or

Aunt Gertie and the Purple Bus