Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Yellow Dragon - Part Four

Me, Happy and the Yellow Dragon at Gifft Hill.

The Yellow Dragon, our 1948 CJ2 jeep, (check out Parts One, Two and Three here) was not just the family car, it also belonged to our dog, Happy. He loved nothing better than going along with us and always draped himself across the lap of the whomever was sitting in the front seat. This gave him a good view of the side of the road which gave him the opportunity to launch himself out of the moving jeep if he saw a mongoose. Twice he caught a mongoose on the fly. You can read more about our ornery mutt here.

The jeep was also a learning tool. As tough as it was, it had a weakness. When ever it rained hard, water collected in the spark plug wells and moisture would condense in the distributor cap. My sister, Erva, and I learned early on how to dry everything off so the fire could be rekindled in the belly of the beast. Dad also made sure, long before either of his daughters knew how to drive, that we knew how to change a tire and check the oil and replenish the water in both the radiator and the battery. By the time we became gas pump attendants at our Mobil gas station we already knew what to do.

The Yellow Dragon even got to be in a Carnival Parade on St. Thomas either in 1958 or 59. We were part of a contingent from St. John. Dad cut mangrove and made a shady arbor over our trusty Sears trailer. 

And there we are, a bunch of kids, the "Spare Parts" for the adults. Those the Wesley kids up front and me in back with the hat on. Erva is sitting with her back to the camera.

In the course of it's life time, due to rust, Dad gave it a new body.

You can see, in this picture, the flat top of the fender-well where Erva and I often used to sit.

Sometime in the late 60s The Yellow Dragon breathed it's last fiery breath and with it's passing we also said good-by to era. By then the roads on St. John were getting paved, the trail roads we'd jeeped were becoming hiking trails and a road was built around the base of Hard Labor Hill. (See Part Three for an explanation of this incredibly steep hill.)

The Yellow Dragon enjoyed the best days on St. John and, I like to think, enjoyed taking us for rides.

Is it strange to miss a vehicle? Ever own a car you were loath to part with?


  1. I think I get attached to all my cars, but I don't think any of them were as well-loved as it seems like The Yellow Dragon was.

  2. I remember the cars from my own childhood with fond memories!! My Dad bought junk heaps really but we all loved them - as long as they actually went!!

  3. I love that it was in a parade and I can imagine how much your dog loved the jeep. I think it was great that you learned so much about cars from your dad- it sounds like that information came in handy. I hate to part with my cars- because I always name them and wish them a happy birthday every 1000 miles. :) I probably miss my car from high school the most. We had a lot of good times.

  4. wow, that is just amazing. I can't get over your stories and pictures. I never had a car of my own until I was out of college. And nothing very sentamental.

  5. The Yellow Dragon sounds EPIC! And wow - Happy could catch mongooses on the fly? That's talent!

  6. I'm not a big car person, and don't really get attached...
    But The Yellow Dragon sounds like a special car. You describe its adventures so well!

  7. I never got that attached to a vehicle, but I can see why you loved the Yellow Dragon. So many wonderful memories riding in it! What a great dad to teach you all that stuff about cars. I still don't know how to change a tire! My dad was never a fix-it guy. My mom did the small stuff and hired a handyman for big stuff!

  8. Hi Bish - love the Yellow Dragon stories .. my father called the first car he bought me (I was a very lucky kiddo) a red fire engine - as he walked me up the road in London - I had no idea what he was talking about ... it was a red sports car - all mine! But we enjoyed some rides together .. him in his bowler, me a young ?lady!!

    Love the stories .. I do remember our first car - a black baby Austin .. which was narrow enough to drive around the garden! Cheers Hilary

  9. I love all these pictures. And I love the name of that jeep. Yellow Dragon :)

  10. My first car (which really belonged to my mom, but she couldn't drive yet) was totaled thanks to my brother's friend (he was driving it!). I was sorry to see my car go.

    You car had quite the life. :D


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