Copyright 1996, Richard Troy. Last update, July 26, 1996.

This poem was written on May 13, 1996, by Richard Troy



This year Gene Berg died. He was an icon in the VW industry - a self taught inovator. Gene was well respected because of his achievements in the field of VW performance products, based upon his own interest in and enthusiasm, and his own experience racing with and using his own products. He was very active in designing and manufacturing (and of course selling) all manner of "after market" pieces for VWs.

I confess very directly that I was not and am not a devoted deciple of his. But I do respect what he has done, and how he has done it. And in this I am not alone. Gene was honored posthumously in many ways, one of which was through the "Gene Berg Memorial Cruze," in which I participated...

I wrote the following for the Karmann Chronicles - it is published here with permission:

The Gene Berg Memorial Cruze was organized by a friend of mine Richard Zavala, of Oakland, and began on Sunday morning, May 12, headed for Chicago. I was there for the beginning, and for a long time I drove directly behind Richard's Beetle - formerly owned by Gary Berg, Genes son - whose license plate reads "G BERG". As it stared at me and I stared at it those many miles, I began to ponder:


What was I doing, why was I spending my time there?
Who was Gene Berg, and why did I really care?

Gene was a self taught innovator who had courage to try
He pursued answers to questions, he just had to know why

He followed his dreams though he never completely succeeded
because for him, a new goal was all that was needed

Behind answers he learned he didn't always know the reason
"But that's ok, there's always next season..."

Gene honored the method, "Learn by trial and by error"
And be never let failure become a great terror

As we look back on a man and his life, the gifts that he gave us,
they're ours to find - if we find them, they save us
for perhaps the greatest gift he gave by example you see
that by following our dreams, we will always be free

...Thank you Gene, for your Inspiration.