I’m sure I don’t know all the stories of this old boy, but he’s become something of a fixture. I can’t even say I really know when Grandpa managed to come by this old Willys jeep, or how long he drove it, but it sat as a creative, backwoods yard ornament next to the chicken coop for years. Years.
Within the past few, though, maybe ten years, maybe five, the old Willys jeep was retired to a pen next to the corral. Can’t even be used for parts, but for some reason, there just is no getting rid of that old thing. None of us wants to, I imagine.
Even if I don’t remember the details, or never knew them to forget them, there’s something to be said for relics of the past. I don’t know if it is the reminder that everything eventually falls to disrepair (pessimistic) or it is the reminder of good old days, and people I loved (optimistic), but there is something important to me about the rusted body, the peeling paint, the almost-unreadable “Willys” on the hood and the back, the cracked windshield, the springs busting through the cracked leather seats.
It is a part of my dad’s past, my granddad’s past, which makes it a part of my past. If this place were mine to do with as I wished, the jeep would stay. In fact, I’d probably put it back next to the chicken coop.
Who knows when it got the yellow paint job – The green is visible under the cracking, chipping, lichen-covered paint. Who knows when the mice really took to the leather, or when the yellow jackets started taking refuge there – They sun themselves on the remainder of the seats, on the floorboards. Who could tell me the last day that old clunker was driven, or what its last trip was – I can’t even tell you the day it was retired to the the pen beside the corral.
But it is a relic. And it will stay.