“Thank you” – Jay Salser


With the outpouring of sympathy from Readers of 1967beetle.com, Eric offered the opportunity and the space to pen something about my life.  I welcomed the opportunity.

By now most have read that I suffered a major stroke to my small bowel.  After 3 days of intense pain and intensive research by both the ER and ICU teams of a major hospital in the Dallas area, a surgeon was called.  Taking from the research and my present condition, he ordered immediate surgery.  This saved my life.  I will be some months or even a year recuperating.   This is where a new epoc of my life begins.

But, I want to say, first—a heart-felt thank-you to all  of you who have had kind thoughts towards me, who have written, sent sympathy cards and who have called via telephone.  I have had indications of your loving care from around the World.  I am humbled. 

One Reader called from Canada and asked to pray for me over the phone. 

Years ago, a person came to our house to look at a Beetle which I had for sale.  As we talked into the evening, our conversation turned to more substantive things.  As this person and I talked we determined that we had a common bond because of our faith in God for our Salvation through Jesus Christ. 

Many of you are going to say

“What does this have to do with Volkswagens—why this?”

Here’s what I said to my customer:  “Now, we are getting to what I REALLY like to talk about.  We talk about this old Bug but it is going get wrecked, rust, burn up or be stolen.  Our Faith cannot be taken from us!”

It goes to what is important in life.

I gave myself to God through Jesus Christ as a youth.  I have not regretted it—not one bit.  God has been merciful to me these 80 years. Through good and through bad—He has remained Faithful.  I accept the “bad” as I have joyfully accepted the good in life.

How can I deny this God who has been so Faithful to me!

As I was alone in the rehabilitation center recently, this thought struck me between the eyes.

Yes, I know the priorities in life.  But how thoroughly have I evidenced this to my family; to my friends; to the World?

Suddenly, I thought:  “When I lay on that stretcher, essentially dying 2 times, I had not one thought of—who is going to mow the lawns?  Who is going to maintain the cars?  No—none of this even slightly crossed my mind.  Why had I spent life so preoccupied with “stuff”?

I later learned that my wife told our daughter—“Your father has changed!”

I could not stop telling people about this God Who has upheld me for all of these years.

Never have I been one to keep my Faith quiet.  But I sensed an urgency.   I looked for opportunity to speak with the nurses, the doctors, the technicians, the therapists.  Anyone.

Oh, yes—have no fear!  I love VWs.  Oh, do I love them.  But one them is not going to be towed behind the hearse carrying me to the cemetery so that I can drive it in eternity! 

Although I continue here, my compass is pointed heavenward.  There’s still some Volkswagening to be done!  Let’s do it.

But, let us remember that there are higher priorities.

Jay Salser

The Finishing Touches for Your Vintage Volkswagen™

Posted by Jay Salser

My wife, Neva, and I have been driving and working on VWs for over 41 years. In fact, we raised our family in these cars. Now, we are retired and enjoy VWs as a hobby. The ’67 Beetle always has been our favorite year. We own a '67 Beetle and a '68 Karmann Ghia.

  1. We love and appreciate you, Jay.

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  2. Prayers answered. So glad to hear your up and about. God is good, even through the trials. Your a blessing and an encouragement. Thank you and Eric for keeping us 67 VW buffs motivated and inspired. Love and prayers continue.

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  3. Thank you, Russ. I am told constantly–“I’ve been praying for you every day!” I don’t cry much, but…these days I do cry. I pray that what life I have left will glorify God and be a strong motivation to all whom I meet. This includes the ’67 Volkswagen Community! jay

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  4. Well said Jay.
    Glad to hear you’re on the road to recovery.

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    1. Hello, Gary…God took note of all those who were concerned for my life. Thank you for taking time to comment! jay

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  5. Richard A (Dick) Diaz April 2, 2019 at 9:42 am

    I know we all reach that moment in life when we weigh what is important, but Jay you have always known what is important; Family and your Faith! Here is to you Buddy for a swift recovery!

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    1. It is good to hear from you, Dick! I shall not forget your comments earlier–your concern for me and for my family! jay

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  6. Frank J. Connolly, Jr. April 2, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Jay:
    If we had more people in the world think this way, the world would be a MUCH better place. Thank you for saying this. So glad you are on the road to recovery.

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    1. Good morning, Frank! May God be glorified in and through my life–is my constant prayer. What a neat Family we have in the ’67 Beetle Community! jay

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  7. Malcolm Crookes April 2, 2019 at 11:01 am

    What an inspirational post ! Really struck home with that one Jay.
    Best wishes from a VW Old Timer in the U.K.

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Malcolm! Sometimes God gets our attention in strange ways! I have a couple of personal contacts in the UK. I’m glad to add you to that list! jay

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  8. Jay, Your faith is inspiring and your words reassuring that God is alive and well and living here with us everyday. The cars are important for sure but living a faith filled life and sharing that with others is a life mission and you have done that by example, serving others your whole life. In these uncertain times we can take comfort in the lasting grace and provision of a loving God who knows our joy and pain and our decisions and indecisions and still loves us! Beetles and the love of cars and tinkering has brought us all together and you and Eric have provided us the glue to create a common bond each in your own unique way. Thank you for that and be blessed in your complete recovery. Tom

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    1. Hello, Tom…It’s been too long since I heard from you. The ride has been good–and it’s not over. Eric is a tough task-master! LOL He’s suggesting more articles and more research. I am continually amazed at all of the fine people we have met through what we now view as a hobby. Our (Salser’s) lives have been so blessed through all of you! Take care, my friend! jay

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  9. Chris Chapman April 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Wow!
    Jay, I’m so happy to hear about your progress. I’m also very sorry you’ve incountered what has happen to you. The stresses of our lives and how hectic our lives can be can become very overwhelming at times and not even realize what stress our lives are putting on ourselves.

    I am a bit “new” to this site and had no idea the “cliche” that is involved. I, obviously enjoy being here and seeing all that everyone has to share but don’t always have the opportunity to see all posts. Yours was one that had me stop my busy day and read what you have written.

    This message you have sent about how priorities need to be arranged in a way of importance is actually a very strong message here for me. I have a small business that keeps me RUNNING 24/7/365. I need to stop, smell the roses, spend time where it’s needed to be spent and realize what you have mentioned. It’s tough. But it must be done before it takes over in a negative way it has for you. I hope you are improving with every moment of the day.

    God bless you sir.

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    1. Hello, Chris–You and I not met or conversed through electronic means. Yet, there is that bond we feel for one another. Like you, I worked hard all of my life–no vacations, few holidays (even my birthday which falls on a big holiday) I think of times missed with family while i worked. Yes, God was providing for my family–but, we could have lived just as well and had more time together. May God give you wisdom for life! jay

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  10. Beautifully said, Jay. You certainly now have your priorities in the correct order. We should all be so fortunate to remember that sequencing when our love of things come before the love of our Father. God speed in your recovery!

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    1. Denton–I love your way of putting it into words! And–thank you for your wishes for my recovery! jay

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  11. Jay,
    Glad to hear that you are on your way towards recovery. Funny how an illness can put LIFE into perspective, and can help you realize or re-prioritize what is truly important in life. Like I tell my significant other Pam, “My cars mean everything to me and they mean nothing to me”. I am GRATEFUL to God for what Gifts he has given me, and the Blessings that I was able to find or take possession on my 1967 Beetle, as well as my Porsche 911 SC. I am Grateful to own them, but at the end of the day, they are just cars, and the “cars” aren’t going to do anything for you when it’s your time to meet Jesus!
    FYI – I’m doing a lot of Praying these days during this Catholic Lenten Season, and I’m Praying every day for your quick and speedy recovery. God Bless you Jay, and thanks for all of your assistance over the years.
    Best Regards,
    Stephen L. Murray

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    1. Hello, Steve–Your prayers and encouragement mean a LOT to me, There are moments when I find it difficult “to swim against the current”. Then, God gives me strength for that moment. I do not whine. I was in rehab with people who have not a chance of ever recovering. I consider myself very blessed to get through a day–relatively easily. I love your assessment of your collector cars, Steve! jay

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  12. Wow; so many great comments!

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  13. Jay—

    Lots of people have been praying for you.

    I think you are living proof of the power of prayer.

    Thanks for being so helpful to so many of us and thanks especially for your words of wisdom about God and the things that are most important in this life.

    Thad Woodruff

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    1. Good morning, Thad…Thank you for your words of encouragement. I think that you and I have a special friendship through your Beetle. I keep “looking over your shoulder” to see what you have just discovered about the vehicle. I like to tell people that prayer of itself is so many words–it is God who listens who gives strength, healing and encouragement. i don’t know if that is a biblical name for God, but it is apt–The God who Listens–then Empowers! I hope that work on the fuel pump is going well! jay

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  14. Jay, I was hoping your health issue was an April’s fools joke:)
    Kathy and i will say a prayer for you and wish you a rapid recovery. You helped us with our bug and we have moved on to broncos and pick ups. But they are just hobbies that we get to share with good people like you.
    We will all end up in front of god sooner or later and i bet there is a VW ready for you to keep running in heaven. I hope to meet with you there and hand you a wrench.
    God Bless,

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    1. Hello, Ken…You and your wife, like so many others, have contributed to mine and my wife’s lives. After all–these cars are just “so much metal and rubber”! It’s the people who own them who are the important part of the Vintage Vehicle Hobby. Whether it is Broncos or Beetles–it is the same. Thank you for your encouraging words–as you say–if we never connect here, we will meet again. I look forward to That Day! jay

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  15. A wonderful testimony,so good to hear that in a classic car forum,my 67 beetle has been in born again Christian ownership all its life,it was bought new in Germany by a British missionary to Sweden and she drove it for the next 30 years till she was nearly 90,she sold it to a member of her church when she gave up driving and after 3 years I saw it advertised in Volksworld magazine and bought it 15 years ago.I thank God for your example and testimony which has greatly encouraged me

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    1. Good morning, Brian! What a wonderful story. Wow! i love the history of these cars and encourage each ’67 Beetle owner to scratch around to learn his car’s history. I have either known or talked with all previous owners of our ’67 Bug. Recently, I contacted the daughter of the original owner. She was glad to hear about the car–she drove in during her high school years. If only these cars could talk. LOL My present physical condition has opened many doors for talking about God. I try to be a good “ambassador” for Jesus Christ. jay

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  16. Jay – Praise The Lord- Prayers answered – from the first time I corresponded with you I could tell – you definitely didn’t hide your light it was evident. I am so thankful to hear and see that you are getting better. I know that one day you will hear “Well Done Good and Faithful Servant” But today is not that day – Only He knows when and obviously has more work for you to do for HIM.
    Love You Brother
    Clyde – “Letha’s Baby”

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    1. Good morning, Clyde–I am awake a bit early and how refreshing it is to read your words of encouragement! My family needs to read the comments from people like you and your wife. They have worked hard to keep me going! Over the years, I have recalled you and your wife and the original owner–“Letha” and her passing. It’s been too long since we communicated. I hope that you both and your Lotus White Beetle are doing well. Let us all live lives expectant of our completed redemption! Thank you for writing. jay

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      1. Jay – our 67 beetle is safely tucked away in the garage next to he brother a 71 bus. She gets out on Sundays for a nice drive along the beach and her brother is in the process of getting a full makeover. Just dropped the motor and trans and will be sending out for body and paint. We were pretty detailed in trying to keep the beetle authentic to when it drove of the manufacturing line but like your beetle we are going to take a couple subtle liberties with the bus. Always appreciate the support and guidance you have provided us over the years. You are right it has been to long and life has a way of speeding along and then the Lord sends us a wake up call to stop refocus and remember the ones we care for.
        Keep up the hard work Jay and many many kudos to your supportive family.
        I hope to get to meet you in person this side of eternity – but if not what a Glorious day it will be to meet Jesus and then get to meet you in the twinkling of an eye.
        Clyde

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        1. Clyde–I am excited to hear about the Bus! Swell acquisition.. I agree–if not this side of Eternity–it’s a sure thing it will happen “down the road” a bit. Y’all have a great weekend! jay

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  17. Felix Madrigal April 7, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Jay and Neva.
    Aurora and I are so happy and pleased to read about your continuing health recovery.
    I am amazed (not really!) at the number of world-wide ’67 VW owners/lovers who have sent you their beautifully worded concerns, encouragements, and prayers.
    May God continue to bless you and Neva for many many years to come.
    Felix

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    1. Why, Hello, Felix! Good to hear from you. I especially appreciate your encouraging words! It is difficult to see progress–but, looking back at how things were, I definitely can see that I am making headway. Living one day at a time, Felix! Take care of that Black ’67! My greetings to your lovely wife. See you soon. jay

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  18. Dear Jay, I’m so sorry to hear about your illness but so happy to hear you are on the road (albeit a long one) to recovery. I will add my prayers to those of many around the world for a complete recovery. Thank you for your wonderful message of faith, which reminds us all of what life’s true priorities are. That being said, I also have to thank you for putting me in touch with Tom B., who was an absolute dream to deal with–light and purpose were definitely at work there, considering two folks who lived states apart and were virtual strangers ended up exchanging quite a bit. Thanks to him and to you for connecting us, my daughter’s ’67 restoration is moving forward now that we have front seats. I’m inspired by all the information on your website to poke around and learn more about the history of our ’67–now christened Dagmar–as I’m sure she’s got a lot to say. Hopefully I’ll have enough to offer you our own Beetle Story to add to your collection! Take care and God bless you and your family.

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  19. Hello, Denise–Messages such as yours give me courage to keep plugging along each day. Some days I have what I call “guilt-free time” when I don’t plan to do much but don’t lay guilt upon self for not being busy! LOL I am so glad that you and Tom hit it off well–that’s great news! Dagmar–now, that’s n unusual name for a Beetle–but if the car responds to Dagmar–then that’s what counts! Yes–please do work with Eric Shoemaker to produce a Featured Article of you, your daughter and your Dagmar! Readers around the World all benefit from being introduced to others of the 1967 Beetle Community! May your restoration continue to go sparklingly! jay

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  20. Great piece of writing. God bless

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    1. Hello, Matt…It is nice to have made your acquaintance! I hope that you continue to enjoy your Beetle. They can be SO much fun!
      I just completed a front brake over-haul on our ’67 Bug. At my age and inabilities–I was doubtful that I could do the job. I did it–with my wife’s help during the bleeding process. So…we must keep learning and doing to preserve these old Beetles! jay

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