Month: July 2018

VW Patty Wagon Attends Taylor Dayne Concert

VW Patty Wagon attends the amazing Taylor Dayne Concert on the New Haven Green on July 28, 2018. Can’t believe Taylor is 57 years old; way to represent. Ran into Juan, one of my mechanics for PW, and his wife at the concert. My sister’s friend Nancy, a proper woman from Simsbury, always buckles up when with the Nic Chics sisters Thelma and Louise. Michelle joined in the festivities and helped video tape patty and the impromptu guitar jam. Notice the guys in the background also feeling groovy, smile. Those blow-up guitars end up adding so much to a party. My sister Lynne gave me 12 of them for my birthday; best gift ever. lol. Also ran into Ryan Kristafer from Ch 8’s In Style AM Show. I had the pleasure of being a guest on his show when I was talking about a mentoring program for at-risk youth on probation and in foster care. While having a grand time, the police approached the patty wagon and her she had to turn and face the proper way. Disappointed, since my middle name is Thelma (kidding) and now the slider door would be facing the street versus the green, thus she lowered the camper roof and moved down the street. PW ended up closer to the stage; the luck of the Irish. My friend Lisamarie and I got up front and center, thanks Lynne, as we and ended up with a selfie with Taylor Dayne and an autographed blowup guitar. Priceless times.


VW Patty Wagon overnight trip to MA family gathering part 2

After the bridal shower in Hingham, MA, our family headed to Framingham, MA, for my Aunt Elise’s 88th birthday celebration at St Patrick’s. Music mends minds; it is the panacea for the elderly challenged with memory issues. My mother, the consummate enthusiastic singer, is so dedicated to her sister; she sees her almost every weekend and immediately breaks into song to lift her spirits. It’s special. My sisters and I would do the same for each other. Aunt Elise is the eldest of 5 kids from an Irish family; my mother is the youngest with 3 brothers between them. Elise dedicated her life to raising 5 amazing children on her own while working as a full-time nurse and part-time realtor in the 1960′, 70’s and 80’s. From as far back as I can recall, she always had a glisten in her eye, she never spoke ill of people and was always positive. So it was fitting that we, my sister Lisa, named Elise after my aunt, escorted her to the Patty Wagon for a little shot of comforter, as she references, aka southern comfort. Smile. These are priceless times. Happy Birthday my dear Aunt Elise. After leaving St Patrick’s, the patty wagon headed back to New Haven with my mother and two aunts. I could tell they were white knuckled with no seat belts in the rear and a 42 year old car that may, or may not, make it back. With no AC we had the windows open and couldn’t hear anything from the backseats; we texted instead ha ha. Randomly, my sister Lisa drives past us on route 90 holding up a red umbrella with a look on her face that alerted us, it was not her umbrella. Determined, Lisa was focused on getting the umbrella to the proper owner so she could cross that off her to do list. Lisa called to inquire about the umbrella; my mother couldn’t hear her on the phone; it was too loud in the VW. Figuring we would deal with it at another time and that Lisa was long gone on Route 90, at least I thought, with her luxury AC and Bruce Springsteen blaring. Suddenly, my drivers side windshield wiper breaks; and it is now raining. As my mother alerted my two aunts from my dad’s side of the family, Judy and Sue, of our dilemma, I pulled off to the side to assess; No go. It was dangling like a wounded arm. What to do. I don’t mind being alone, but now I am responsible for my precious cargo passengers. So I crawled forward, and, like a mirage, I saw a stopped car ahead pulled off the side. IT WAS LISA!!!! Unbelievable. She had NO idea of our situation. She was so determined to hand off that damn red umbrella, and thank Goodness she did. As I approached her car she has a slick smile with red umbrella in hand. I told her, not only is she keeping that red umbrella, she is adding my three passengers and bringing them back to New Haven, safely. Out of patty wagon comes their luggage in the rain with 18 wheelers whipping past us. I reassured my mom, sister and aunts I would be fine. I found respite from the rain under a bridge, but knew I couldn’t stay there long. Too vulnerable. So now I white-knuckled it 3 miles in the break down lane at 10 mph in monsoon conditions to the next rest stop. Figured I have wine, a bed, and ipad to hunker down for the night; revisit the trip and the weather in the morning. Then of course it hit me, a truck stop; for sure there had to be a driver who would fix the wiper. First guy I came upon was Spanish, and mucho gusto and bano didn’t get me far; I resorted to sign language charades. This wonderful man called his Spanish-English speaking amigo and asked if I had plyers. I did. Still with tags on, he fixed the wiper in five minutes and I was on my happy camper way. Something about this patty wagon that just brings out the best in everyone. Peace on. Join the journey at


VW Patty Wagon overnight trip to MA for family gathering part 1

Quality family time; priceless. My nephew Taylor is getting married to Emily in September, both Hamilton College grads, so this was his fiancé’s bridal shower in her hometown in Hingham, MA. My sister Lynne rented an Airbnb for the family while my accommodations were in the VW patty wagon. The patty wagon also made for an extended outdoor living room for happy hour as my mom and two aunts thoroughly enjoyed the comfort of the living room while being outdoors. While my nieces Leah and Kelly, along with my nephew Taylor threw the frisbee around (of course the camper comes equipped with a frisbee), my sister Lynne, because she is 59 and has many more years of frisbee throwing experience, represented in that event. My mother sang a song at the shower to the tune of Hey! Look Me Over by Lucille Ball. For 50 years she has been rewriting the words to parallel the event, whether a birthday, wedding, shower, retirement party, whatever, my mom, a former Sweet Adeline’s Director, has the song to sing; we have all come to expect it. An event wouldn’t be the same without it. We all had beads on and couldn’t say the word WEDDING or we would lose our beads, so my niece offered to say that word during her Nana’s song to her grandson to spare her beads from being taken. Side note, Emily and Taylor asked my mom to be the flower girl in their wedding, yes, at 79 years old, the flower girl. After the shower, off to celebrate my moms sister’s 88th birthday. See part 2 of patty wagon adventures with Aunt Elise, patty wagon, and the comforter aka soco southern comfort. Love my Irish family.


VW Westfalia Patty Wagon Adventure attends first classic car doo wop in North Haven

Patty Wagon attended her first classic car show in North Haven and surprisingly won an award for favorite car, selected by a young boy. Of course he was thinking of the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine;
smile. The music was awesome, people were helpful, and everyone loved the patty wagon because they are rare on the east coast. Ah and the random adventures continue. Peace on.


VW Patty Wagon with City Point’s Tom Ahern who shares his-story

Followers of this blog may recall that Random Act of Generous Emotion kindness act when Patty Wagon delivered a misplaced package to the proper address and Tom Ahern answered the door. Well this is a continuation of the adventure that has developed from that day, all stemming from a random moment; a new relationship was found. Tom’s journey, from sharing his history in the 1940’s at City Point (formerly called Oyster Point)in New Haven, to his present encounters with the patty wagon, will carry on. Tom turned 90 a few weeks ago. If we pay attention to our “seniors,” we may learn so many lessons from their tenacity. Anyone who has lived through the Depression, WW2, and the Cold War, is built to last. Listen to their journey. More to follow on Tom.

Leave a Comment

VW Patty Wagon Meets New Haven People for the Adventure part 1

VW Patty Wagon brings a smile to the faces of many New Haven people. From family and friends, such as Richard and Janice, Beth, Michelle and Zoe (the dog version), Natasha, and niece Leah, to Pequannock Yacht Club members, to random folks PW runs into like the peace T-shirt guy happens to be Vinnie Penn from WELI and author, to business owners like as Bruce and Cathy of Café Java, Tony and his wife Anna of the Greek Olive, Vincent Ferrucci, of Ferrucci Men’s Clothing, to the world famous chef Franco from Shell and Bones, and former owner of Sage, David McCoart, now consulting chef for Gateway Community College Foundation, to City Point Kitchen’s Jeff and my sister Lisa, former New Haven Mayor, John DeStefano, Jr., and some yoga buddies Delia and her husband Marty, along with Fred, who at 73 and does yoga almost daily; I tell him he looks like Steve Harvey! More to follow in part 2.


VW patty wagon gets engine work by Lyons Auto Part 1

The VW Patty Wagon goes in for repairs yet still brings a smile to our brothers and sisters faces. Changing out the shifter bushing, what a game changer for shifting! Ok, so oil leak in transmission; HELP! It could be a few seals or $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. To be continued.


VW Patty Wagon interviews New Haven Fire Chief Alston on his VW memories

So July 4, 2018, Patty Wagon was relaxing at her New Haven Harbour condo pool when her sister Lynne shows ups to join for a burger and a beer. Totally random, she invited PW to a picnic at Chief Alston’s with other folks who work for the City of New Haven. In true form, PW is a welcome addition to any venue as memories flow. Chief John Alston, who had two fires to deal with that day, was like a kid bursting with firework flashbacks of memories as an 11 year old. It did my heart good to see the enthusiasm in his eyes after doing his part to make New Haven a safer place to live. Patty Wagon is so much more than a vehicle to transport; it is a vehicle to transform! Let’s foster opportunities to hear about people’s background and make connections. Look for the common ground out there folks. If we take the time to listen to each other, we may open our minds and our hearts. Moments like this; priceless.


VW Patty Wagon gets Reupholstered seats and new curtains

Robert Carbone of Branford Auto and Marine Cover did an amazing job on the new front seats and the arm rests. Irene, of Irene’s Drapery Shoppe in North Branford, and her daughter Cherry, put the icing on the “cozy” cake with the new curtains. Definitely a game changer for the mobile living room and bedroom.

1 Comment