1971 VW Bus

Tina Hicks

In 2006 I bought my 1971 VW Bus from an eBay seller in California. (I live in Virginia.) My boyfriend, Garry, wasn’t too thrilled and thought I was being "sold by the photos;" but I assured him this bus was going to be awesome and there’s probably very little he will have to fix. He said “good” and rolled his eyes.

The poor bus was an awful mess when it arrived. I remember putting my large, just opened, power drink can on the floorboard between the driver and passenger seat while I was nervously starting it up for the first time. I put it into gear and the bus jumped forward and stalled, spilling the drink all over the rubber mat. That’s when the bus and I had a little talk. I explained the power drink was for him more than it was for me and asked him if he would "power up" and…please get me home safely.

My knees were shaking as I was driving him an hour home from the shipping place with everything rattling, funny noises happening and no electrical working. I could see Garry’s eyes roll and head shake (again and again) in the rearview mirror as he was following me home. At that moment, I decided to call my bus “Humpty.” He was definitely in need of being "put back together again.”

Humpty got me home safely and I fell in love with him. Ten months (and some mild cussing) later, my boyfriend was able to get him into tip-top shape! He also went from sunshine yellow to calm green.

One of my passions is rescuing small dogs. I see, firsthand, how amazing transitions can happen with tender loving care and lots of love and attention. So I feel like I rescued Humpty too! He is definitely very special to me.

Two of my Hairless Chinese Crested rescue dogs are internet famous (Dancing Nathan and Hot Mess Gilligan) and Humpty has been included in many of my photo shoots.

Sadly, in the past two years, I've lost Garry, Gilligan and one of my other dogs to cancer.