I Love My Van

I love my van. I almost got hit in a head-on while driving it two weeks ago. As I braked and swerved, I thought “don’t let this car hit on my wife’s side.” Then in a microsecond, “I’ll miss the van if it gets totaled”. It all happened in such a flash. Luckily it was a near miss.

I always get so many waves and smiles from folks as I cruise to school or to parties. Kids come up and touch it. They all love the oyster decals. So I thought I would tell the story of my van.

I received a Christmas card from Steamers Seafood Café in Los Gatos when they first opened and it was called the Night before FishMass. The image was of children nestled in their beds dreaming of fish and three dancing oysters. I thought it was the perfect image for that moment. I was starting an oyster farm that grew three varieties of oysters. How perfect as my company logo?  Later I discovered that the oysters were illustrations from Alice in Wonderland.

Years later the oyster farmers were fighting a plan by the city of Santa Rosa to store untreated sewage behind an earthen dam that, if it broke or overflowed, would result in raw sewage going into Tomales Bay. So we decided to put on a rock concert to raise money to oppose their plan. Bill Graham sent two little known West Marin bands, Chris Isaak and Queen Ida with her Bon Temps  Zydeco Band.  The logo for the concert was the oysters in top hat and tails, gloves and a cane, dancing like Fred Astaire.

The idea for oysters dancing around the van came from Berkeley. There was this famous van that had rainbow colored armadillos running around it eating their tails (think MC Escher). When the van was ‘done’ my artist said she needed to get a thousand bubbles. It was my long friend Andrea’s inspiration to have our regular customers place the bubbles anywhere on the van. People still point out “their bubble” when they see the van. It’s a real shared vision and experience.

That’s how the van became to look as it does today. I love my van.

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