This is the story of my '64 Vespa 150 - how it became mine and how it has given me a new vespatude.  I'll be recording the neat places I visit, the different things I do to make the Vespa my own, and - oh yeah - those reactions I get from both friends and strangers.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005
Eighteen days
I learned yesterday that my Vespa is supposed to arrive on October 17 to a warehouse here in Greenville. I'm not sure exactly what warehouse. The shipping company is Phoenix International and they tell me they'll give more information closer to the arrival date. The bike is on a boat right now and will be off-loaded in California. It will then be brought overland to Greenville. At least I won't have to worry about the boat sinking in a hurricane!

I've been reading that more and more people are buying scooters. I even saw a piece in The Greenville News this morning (it isn't on their online site - here is the source of their piece). Two reasons for the upswing in sales: 1) gas prices and 2) the fun of owning the scooters. I started with later when thinking about purchasing a bike - plus the convenience of being able to get around a college campus and a crowded downtown area. Now, I'm seeing the side benefit of the better gas mileage.

The downside is that you just don't see scooters around Greenville. Well, you do, but they are typically mopeds driven by someone you are sure lost their license or had their car repossessed. It will be very interesting to see the responses I get. Judging by how people respond now when I tell them I am getting one, I think the reaction will be mixed.

Sitting at lunch last Sunday, I had to endure the ribbing of my wife's brothers and her sister-in-law. "Just make sure you don't go to any biker bars," they said. "Well, now I know what to buy the redhead for Christmas! One of those Kaiser helmets. I can't wait to see her sitting in the sidecar with that thing on!" Of course, the redhead has already announced she will not be seen in the sidecar with or without decorative headcovering.

Hey, I expected it. That will be part of the fun - cutting across the stereotype. Besides, with gas prices the way they are, they can laugh at me as I go all the way to the bank.


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