Groovy

By Stewart Lindstrom, Variety Editor Originally published in Issue 1, Volume 34 of The University Register on September 17, 2021 “Groovy” By Stewart Lindstrom He asked his first girl out while driving that car: The ‘04 Volkswagen with the stoner decals. The trunk flaunts a three-pronged peace sign, and dog-ugly flower petals climb across the hood in a 70’s aesthetic: My brother’s psychedelic Bug. Most distinctive is the “Groovy” sticker that clings to the passenger’s side. How’d he come by this total eyesore? By weeding his band teacher’s yard for five summers. Mr. Voorhar: the man was a bleeding-heart pacifist, a bombastic smoker with a belly laugh. A vehement Anglican, it was he who told us, “Vote ‘D’ when you’re old enough” while our Evangelical parents just rolled their eyes and snickered. We grew used to the sight of “Groovy” rolling up to school, and Mr. Voorhar climbing out in his iconic wool jacket and corduroy khakis. We learned to recognize those flamboyant stripes from across whole parking ramps, watched that car materialize before all our concerts, and yet never once did it occur to my brother — I’m sure — that he would one day be putting in the miles up I-94 to Moorhead in the very same car once his teacher could no longer drive. Never could my brother have guessed the extent to which just watching his student stick-shift could make that old trombone instructor smile.