Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Jeep/Going Topless










Tonight, if the 50% storm chance holds off, will be the last baseball game I umpire until next March...unless I decide to head to Florida and do a tournament down there come January or February....just a little over 4 months ago, my back was the major concern when I started...it survived the season. Tonight will mark 81 games(exactly 1/2 the major league schedule)....now I will get ready for football, my first officiating gig will be a scrimmage on August 14th....the back will get another test, so far it's held out, but not without concerns, so we will see how things work out.
Jeeps
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I have owned 2 Jeeps in my life, a Cherokee that Patricia and I bought new right after we were married...It was a charcoal grey 1977...despite being a station wagon with 4 wheel drive, the thing could go anywhere and through anything....the only drawback I felt it had...you had to "lock" the front wheels in the 4 wheel drive position....to do this, you had to exit the vehicle.


The second Jeep, is my current one, a 1998 Wrangler. This I bought for the RV delivery runs I would make after my retirement from Environmental Health work. The jet black Wrangler had 32,000 miles on it when I purchased it in Lima, Ohio, in November 2002....in the almost 6 years since, it now has 181,000 on the odometer....it you add up the miles towed behind the RVs getting to the destinations and dealers...my guess is, at least 250, 000 on the frame and wheels. It's now on it's second engine...strictly my fault as I left it in gear while taking off towing it from a motel in central Pennsylvania, and blew the original engine....that brain dead mistake also caused the rear axle to break and a rear tire to fall off and dropping off an exit ramp, down on I-81...but that's another story.
Come Memorial Day, I take the rag top off the Jeep, and drive without a top until the first of October or so....I just don't take it out in the rain. Now, you can fold these tops down, but if you have ever owned one, you know it's a major pain in the ass to do so....and the wear and tear on the top and connections is major.


1969__________












I actually drove my first Jeep at Nha Trang AB, Republic of Vietnam....working day shift Law Enforcement, we rotated posts, and about every 2 or 3 days we got to work patrol duties...needless to say, the patrol, which usually was you alone in a jeep driving the entire base was great duty...unless it was raining, then if you had a "topless" model, you put on your blue helmet and poncho, and got soaked....didn't hurt the interior of the GI Jeeps, because there wasn't much...just 2 bucket seats and medal floors....loved those suckers.












1970__________

My final tour stop in Vietnam was at the biggest Air Base, Tan Son Nhut, located outside Saigon...from March through late June 1970, I was assigned to "Blue Flight"...blue flight was a 8PM to 6AM shift that I worked 6 days a week(Tuesday's off). Resource protection was our job...basically to keep the local "workers" from robbing the Air Force blind...and any long fingered GIs as well. As a "Buck" Sargent my final job with Blue Flight was driving my open air Jeep around with coffee, apples, oranges, smokes, and C-Rations loaded in it....to keep the 30 or so guys that were guarding the various locations on base, awake. It was great duty(considering you were in a war zone)....I feel in love with the Jeeps in Vietnam....and driving those are some of my most vivid memories of that war time.
back later>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Photos-top..the Wrangler without top, as I photographed it this morning. Patricia sitting on the back tail of the 77 Cherokee in the summer of 1977 at Hocking Hills(Ohio) State Park. Me and the Wrangler the day I paid hard cold cash for it at AHL in Lima, Ohio. And finally me with a open air Jeep at Nha Trang in August 1969...and in October the same year with my buddy Harry Bevan with a Jeep with a top...you can check out Harry's blog in my favorite's list in the left hand panel.

8 comments:

Harry J said...

Pat good looking Jeeps, I think the ones from Nha Trang need some wax. thanks for the memories...

The Hermit said...

I remember the M151 well. That's what they were using when I was in the Marine Corps.

I had a Wrangler that was almost identical to yours. It was a great vehicle. I traded it in on a Jeep Commander just before gas went through the roof. Should have kept the Wrangler.

Grandpa-Old Soldier said...

That old M151 brings back some memories. I fell out of one, me and the whole seat comming in from post after a midnight shift( at Phu Cat), 30 mph onto the ramp. I still suffer today from the neck and back problems from that one.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Man, I sooooo miss my Cherokee. It was a Black 2-door, without 4 wheel drive, but it still went just about anywhere. Got it in '95, used, with about 34,000 miles on it. Traded it in on the Solara in October of '06 with 342,000 on it. Got $500 for it. If it hadn't been leakin' oil like a sive (worn out engine) I'd a kept it for jollies. I'll get another some day.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Byy the way, when I got the jeep my dad was telling me not to because he thought they were still like the ones he'd ridden in in WW2. After I got mine and he rode in it he fell in love with it and got himself one. Eventually he gave it to my sister and she just traded it in on a new pontiac.

Buck said...

I had a girlfriend back in the day who had a CJ5, which she rolled three times before deciding that maybe she and Jeeps just didn't get along. It was a great good thing her Jeep had a roll-bar (not all of 'em did) and she was in the habit of wearing her seatbelt... otherwise she'd be dead. Hell, I almost killed her a couple of times myself, beating on her and yelling at her to "slow DOWN!"... the girl drove like a crazy woman.

Jeeps are practical sorts of vehicles, which might be why I never took to 'em. Given as how I'm NOT a "practical" type...

Cookie..... said...

Hey mate! Where are those snow-tired Jeeps you drove while stationed in Rome, NY??? ;-)

pat houseworth said...

Cookie...we drove those old 4 WD Dodge "Power Wagons"....were not much to drive, but the heaters work damn well...and afterall, that was the main thing up there in the land of 9 month winters.