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All in a name

Every name has meaning, a story behind it. “Wilhelmina” means “Volker’s baby” regardless of what the baby names websites say. And here is the story behind it.

Volker Willi Walter Burkard (called Wee Willi—his father was Willi—by his loving wife) loved Volkswagen Beetles. He owned quite a few of them (though only one at a time). The last one he owned he built out of two old cars that he melded together to create one: a 1972 beetle. It took a lot of long hours in the garage to build that car; I was sometimes jealous of the attention it got. I decided, that as it was my rival for his affection, it was definitely female; and as it was his, Wee Willi’s baby, its name should be Wilhelmina. And so it was always known.

As she need some repairs we couldn’t afford, in 1983 Wilhelmina was taken off the road. When we moved to Bloomingdale it was stored in the barn, except for occasional runs down the farm lane. There just never seemed to be the time or money to fix her up. So year after year she stayed in the barn.

When the Snyder family sold their farms Wilhelmina had to move. For a time she stayed in my driveway at Ruskview Road. She was slowly rusting away. It was apparent that I could never afford to have her fixed again, and so, in August 1998, I sold her.

Now Volker has a new baby, a baby granddaughter. And she is named in honour/for love of him.

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