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Monday, May 2, 2016

Here comes the Beetle brigade

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Various models of Volkswagen Beetles line the streets of the annual Putnam County 4-H Parade in 2009. Dick Funk, owner of D&K Beetles of East Jacob Street in Greencastle has helped organize the brigade of "bug" cars for the parade for the past 10 years.
GREENCASTLE -- Lee Creed remembers how he was able to convince Dick Funk to start the Beetle brigade that has capped off the annual Putnam County 4-H Fair Parade for the past 10 years.

"Years of whining and him telling me no," he said. "It took getting enough people ganging up on him. We needed people to plant a bug in his ear."

The parade starts at 7 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Washington Street and U.S. 240 and loops around the courthouse and onto Franklin Street.

Friday night, Creed will be at the end of the parade line, taking photos and videos to share with all his Beetle buddies and future generations of car lovers.

He said having the Beetles in the parade is more for the upcoming generations and for preserving memories.

"I've seen a few young people at the parade come of age by these cars," he said. "I hope in 50 or 60 years from now, people will appreciate it."

Funk has been the owner of D&K Beetles on East Jacob Street since 1973 and loves the car for its ability to bring people of all generations together. From working in his shop, he said there are more Volkswagen Beetles in Greencastle that one might think.

"Everybody has a story and a relationship with their car," Dick Funk said.

Beetles make their way down the parade route. Funk anticipates 50 will be in this year's event.
Since he started participating in the parade and attending shows across the country, Funk said he enjoys when new owners show up and he gets to renew old acquaintances.

"It's not my show. It's just about people," he said.

Creed first took interest in the Volkswagen brand when he drove by Funk's shop in the '70s and saw a 1974 Thing -- a square top jeep.

He's lost track of how many Volkswagen cars he's owned over the years. Now, he said, he's counted eight in operating condition and varies which one he drives each day to spread out his mileage.

"It's just a happy car," Creed said. "Oftentimes owners don't run the radio when they're driving it so they can listen to the engine. That's their entertainment."

Funk's 1958 model, one of the first he purchased new when he worked in the Air Force in Okinawa, Japan, has racked up 150,000 miles over the years from driving to car shows across the country, so now he only drives them on weekends.

Funk listed his 1953, '57, '66 and '68 models as some of his favorites that he personally owns, and like Creed, he said he appreciates the car for its friendly personality.

"They have character, and I've met a lot of fun, friendly people driving them," Funk said. "Highway drivers love them, and motorcycle drivers always give each other the low five when they see me drive it."

Parade chair Dorothy Edwards said the Beetle brigade is always one of the highlights event.

However, she said people have mixed emotions about the brigade's placement at the end of the parade; before the cars were in the parade people would often leave the event early.

"People are happy to see them come through, but then they don't like it because there's the end of the parade."

Edwards said since the brigade was added to the parade, attendance has increased each year.

"If they don't go through, we would have a lot of controversy. We'd have to answer a lot of questions, like 'Did you not ask them if they'd come back?'" she said, "but that's not happening any time soon. We always ask them to come back"

Funk said he doesn't like to put the publicity of the event on himself and the shop, but even with his modesty, he ranks the brigade as one of the parade's top attractions.

"I won't vote on it, but it's the most favorite part of the parade," Funk said with a smile.

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It's wonderful what Lee has done. The man certainly likes Volkswagons... lol Woo-hoo, Lee!!!! Cari

-- Posted by caaricha on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 12:22 PM


-- Posted by Sputty on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 1:35 PM

SMACK,white one!

-- Posted by obeone on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 3:52 PM

smack, gold one, baha style

-- Posted by lleonard47 on Sat, Jul 24, 2010, at 7:31 PM

hey, not funny !!!!

-- Posted by vwthing on Mon, Aug 26, 2013, at 10:55 PM

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