LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – It was love at first sight.
Eight years ago, Kyle Cropsey, of Lindenhurst, slipped a note inside the window of a blue 1971 Volkswagen bus.
“Ever since I was young, I had an infatuation with these Volkswagen buses,” Cropsey told CBS2’s Jessica Layton on Thursday night.
Cropsey – who was 16 at the time – wrote the bus was his “future car.”
“I scribbled a note, ‘please call me,’ and I slipped it in right through the window and saw it fall to the floor and thought, ‘Oh my god, he’s not going to see it,'” he said.
Fast forward eight years.
Cropsey got a call from Cris Mead, who lives in Oakland, Calif. It turns out Mead’s father Cornelius owned the van and kept Cropsey’s note. Cornelius Mead purchased the bus back in 1971 and used it to take cross-country trips, and kept a log book.
After Cornelius passed away, Cris was cleaning the bus out and he came upon Cropsey’s note in the log book.
The Mead family then decided to give Cropsey the bus, on the condition that he restore it and “go on plenty of adventures.”
“We were trying to figure out what to do with all of my dad’s stuff, and one of the things was the Volkswagen van. My sister came across a note,” Cris told Layton. “It choked me up when I read it. It’s just the way this whole journey has progressed has been absolutely amazing.”
Cropsey said “it was fate.”
“’We think my dad would want you to have the bus,’” he said. “After all these years, it came and found me.”
Cropsey picked up the bus, which Cornelius had named Matilda, from his widow last weekend. The engine runs pretty well and the radio still works.
The family wouldn’t take money but asked Cropsey to send photos of the restoration along the way and keep them updated on Matilda’s adventures.
“My friends will definitely be packed in here. We’ll have surf boards in here,” he said. “This will definitely be paid forward in one way or another.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)