|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.
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?