A quick autobiography
A German Immigrant arrives in NYC and it gets crazy from there
I first arrived in America in 1962, when I was very young. My lord, was it a different time back then. Looking back, everything, music, culture, cars, could have been from another planet it is all so different than it is now. I had that same thought back then when I immigrated here from Germany. Then, my family in Bavaria was working in transportation and was barely able to make a living. They knew life was hard, so they worked with large businesses in the industry as well as the government to get me a pass into New York City.
My first place of residence was the garage of a Volkswagen dealership just outside Queens. It was not what you would call glamorous. The dealership must have been doing some sketchy stuff, I guaranteed myself.
When I first got there, I thought it was some sort of wicked trafficking ring. Others like me, meaning not well off, would come and go all the time. What wigged me out was that my garage mates were all German. How did these Americans know we were Deutsch? And why were all of us German immigrants coming to this dealership? The workers never even talked to us, so they would not know by our accents.
However, my fears were put to rest over the next few days after moving to the dealership. I realized none of us were injured, if anything, we immaculately taken care of. That was the most comfortable living condition I have ever had in America.
Then one day, a woman named Keyshia* walked into the dealership and that is when everything changed. She adopted me and took us to her home in Harlem, where we lived until 1986. We had some amazing times together. Woodstock was a real highlight. I remember feeling incredibly nervous on the drive to the event.
However, when we got there, everyone let their hair down and just listened to music and did whatever they could to have a better time. One especially large American gave me some interesting substances. Said it was premium and damn did it feel like it. It was like I was firing on all cylinders I had such a rush. Although the drive back was not as premium, I remember feeling like stuff was rubbing.
Anyway, she was a queen and we lived together, and she took care of me, fed me, and delivered me to the doctor when I was sick. Even though that doctor usually operated out of a Volkswagen dealership. Unsurprisingly, that is just what I thought doctor offices were like for a while, a garage at a Volkswagen dealership. I was young.
Unfortunately, Keyshia* died of cancer and I was forced onto the streets for a while. I have never wanted to live alone and rarely have. Sharing a residence with at least one other being was always preferable.
My next roommate was with a man in Columbus Ohio. He offered to let me move in with him if I pull my weight. Then, in 1990, I and that a-hole got into a car accident. He walked away without a scratch, but I got stuck with a broken nose. He kicked me out. After that, I had to get some surgery and then lived at a downright embarrassing car dealership on the west side of the city.
And no, I don’t know how I always ended up living in the back of car dealerships.
Anyway, after that, I found a wonderful family through an equally wonderful young woman whose name was Monica*. She was in high school at the time and was looking for her first car. I managed to help her find something desirable. We ended up being great friends.
I stayed with them until Monica* graduated and went to college at Ohio State. Then we remained friends all through college as well. Some people thought our relationship was a bit odd. They would say things like “move on” or “you need to find something better.” She never listened to the haters. We stayed by each other, even as she began to fall in love with her now-husband.
The marriage was bittersweet in 2004, she had to cut me loose. I had begun to develop more problems. She did not have time for me on top of her new job and marriage.
I was incredibly agitated at first, however, I got over it as I realized it was the best thing to do in the grand scheme of things.
At least I did not have to go back to some God-forsaken car dealership again, Monica’s* family allowed me to stay at their place until I found a place and someone to share it with.
Later that year, I met a man named Doug*. He was a bit younger than I and was more than willing to put up with my problems. He always said they were common yet uniquely mine.
Ever since then, we have lived together and worked on each other. I have become a happier being due to living with him. We have kept each other busy. I feel like I am in my prime again.
Although, I did develop some eye problems, they developed a procedure where, if I had a roommate, Doug*, they could replace my eyes. So, we did, and I can see better than ever!
One of our favorite activities is to go to Cars and Coffee. Occasionally I meet another old German and we always strike up a conversation. But it is mostly just young’uns with big rims and cameras.
I hope I get to stay with Doug* forever. It has been a joy. At this point in my life, I am down for most things. I just do not want to go back to New York. The rust is atrocious.
1962 Volkswagen “Beetle” Type 1