The year was 1960. I lost my license for a month due to too many tickets. Once I could again get insurance, all I could afford was a Vespa Motor scooter. I was dating a girl from Piedmont California who attended Colorado State University. During the summer months she would come to live with her family in California. We would borrow her uncles 1957 Thunderbird for dates. One evening we went to San Francisco for the afternoon and decided it would be fun to drive out to Inverness on Bodega Bay in Marin County. I had friends who had a summer home there so we dropped in to see if anyone was home. The place was full of friends and Fraternity brothers with their dates. My date was in heels and asked if anyone would loan her some tennis shoes so we could go walk on the beach at Drakes Bay. We played and stayed and eventually went back to Piedmont.
I then enlisted in the Coast Guard. My date went back to Colorado. I endured 12 weeks of Boot Camp and was at loose ends. My friends from Inverness called me and wanted to set me up on a "blind date"; explaining that I had actually met this girl but might not remember it. It turned out she was the one who loaned my Colorado girfriend the tennis shoes for our walk on the beach.
I picked up my "blind date" in the Marina District of San Francisco on my Vespa and we headed over to Berkeley for a Fraternity party in costume. The theme was "Cave Party". We looked pretty funny zipping across the Bay Bridge on the Vespa.
That was the beginning of a 54 year love affair. Maybe while we're in Italy this summer we'll rent a Vespa and relive the thrill of a lifetime.