It’s Friday and time for the How Do You Vespa? contributor post. Each Friday, we’ll feature passionate Vespa owners who share their stories and photos of their favorite experiences aboard a Vespa.
This week’s contributor is Ted Gushue, a contributing writer at SCENE magazine. He grew up watching his dad ride motorcycles and became a fan himself since an early age. His decision to ride a Vespa while in college made him an avid Vespa rider and fan, here’s his story.
I went to college in a sleepy suburban town in Rhode Island by the name of Bristol. The tiny hamlet of a few thousand was known primarily to the rest of the world as the birthplace of the Fourth of July Parade, a procession which takes place every year down Main Street, a street which unsurprisingly is marked down the middle by Red, White, and Blue – not yellow.
By all accounts it was a lovely place to spend four years, right on the water, perfect sailing weather, delightful springs, lazy summers, admittedly miserable winters. But for me, the season that sticks out in memory was autumn, not for any reasons meteorological mind you, but for one evening in particular. By most accounts it was a wholly unremarkable night, which I’d chosen to whittle away at a friend’s house a few blocks away.
Around 2:00 AM I received a deadpan phone call from my roommate: “Hey man, your car is on fire.”
“Do you think you could put it out?” I jokingly replied, assuming this was a strikingly poor attempt at a late night joke.
“Well, I guess all the fire trucks outside are taking care of it.” My eerily calm roommate continued.
At the very least I owed this some attention, which turned out to be the understatement of the century when I returned to my house to find a 40 foot inferno raging in the place where my Jeep Grand Cherokee used to stand. The Fire Department was out in record attendance to hose off my four wheeled char, leaving little more than a river of black water running down the cramped street. The investigation would later reveal that I was the victim of a random act of arson carried out by a group of faceless teenagers who remain at large to this day.
Fast forward through the arduous legal process of having your car burnt to the ground I found myself demobilized. The freedom I’d enjoyed skipping from house party to house party in my Cherry Red Jeep had been stolen from me. I was in purgatory.
But then my father called.
“You know, you could always take the Vespa…” He said it almost as a joke, at this point winter was on its way and to him the prospect of whipping around on a Ferrari Red Vespa ET4 in sub-tropical climates seemed laughable to him. But not to me.
“Done.” I replied.
Within a matter of days I had her in my garage, my freedom restored. La Vespa Epoch was upon me, and it was glorious.
For the remainder of my time at school I bounced around town, perpetually beaming, blissfully aware that I was having a much better time than anyone within eyeshot. I no longer had to adhere to the hell that is collegiate parking. I could zip from class to class without consequence of time. Beach party? There in an instant. Sporting event congestion? Need not apply.
I can’t imagine too many ramen huffing students have the budget for a Vespa in their loan packages these days, but if room can be found, I highly recommend it.
What is your favorite Vespa memory? Have any great stories that you can share with us? Submit your photos and your stories by using the hash tag #VESPAVITA on Twitter and/or Instagram.
Be a part of the conversation and help us celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Vespa 50cc scooter!
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