Hooniverse Weekend Edition: Four Horsepower Is Enough

My younger brother, who I affectionately refer to as thejeepjunkie, has owned a few CJ’s in the last couple years. Last weekend, BZR commented in a post I did to blog about a few experiences I had referred to in it. This olelongrooffan thought of the time thejeepjunkie and I got a Jeep stuck in a creek and I figured this would be as good of a time as any to relate that experience.

Now trust me, thejeepjunkie is no stranger to getting an old CJ stuck. This is his yellow CJ2A, prior to its fancy new paint job, on the day we Stuck One, Broke The Other. And no, getting his 2A stuck in that creek is not the subject of this story.

thejeepjunkie’s son, the Kid, sported this cool CJ5 for a couple years prior to getting his college bound Ranger four wheel drive last fall. And yes, he Jones’s over my Comanche every time he sees it.

But know this my fellow Hoons, that then 17 year old Kid gained valuable insight from his old man about how to get a Jeep stuck in a creek.

thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan have often opined about our interest in old cars and, in his specific case, old CJ’s. We have come to the conclusion it is based on this old Willys M38 my older brother owned back when we were mere lads. My Big Brother Bob, yes BBB, purchased this old Army jeep for around 1,500 bucks back in the late 1960’s. We loved cruising around in it with him. And he loved, and still does, showing off for his youngest brothers.

We would go out for rides with BBB regardless of the weather conditions. Hell, we were kids what difference would a few inches of snow make in having a blast with he and his wife? X boxes and Playstations were not even in the vocabulary back then. And yes, that is my Dad’s garage with his 1929 Model A, a bicycle built for two and my baby sister Joan’s little bike with training wheels contained in it.

This olelongrooffan suspects the experiences driving BBB’s newer CJ5 around out farm was also a major contributor towards his fascination with old Jeeps.

One day when the three of us were out Hooning around, my folks were watching us and BBB talked them into climbing into the cockpit of his CJ for this, obviously staged, photo opportunity. Check out that fur hat my Mom has on. And the cigarette in her right hand. Gotta love the 70’s.

Later that same day, my Dad captured this image photo of BBB, thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan racing through Turnback Creek. Yeah it was fun being a Hoon kid out on the farm.

Another day BBB was out at the farm and he decided to try and drive his CJ5 through this smallish pond we had in the front field. It was a seasonal pond, only appearing after the winter thaw and spring rains. It was about 18 inches deep and maybe 25 feet in diameter. BBB would get about 30 feet away, floor that Jeep, pop the clutch and race toward that pond in an attempt to get across it. He inevitably failed and I would back Dad’s tricycle front International Harvester “C” tractor up to that pond, thejeepjunkie would wade out, hook up the tow chain and I would yank BBB out. Only to have him try it again. And again. And again.
My whole family had gathered around by this point and Dad was getting pictures and 16mm film of it and laughing his ass off. Mom set up a picnic on the tailgate of our old farm truck and we made a party of it. By the way, BBB never got all the way across that pond that afternoon. But Damn! Hooning on that farm was a blast!

Prior to his acquiring that CJ5, BBB still owned his M38. He was off defending our country and left his M38 out on the farm. thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan decided to see if we could get it across Turnback Creek down in the hollow on our farm. Well as you can observe in the above image, we failed miserably. I hoofed it back to the barn to get Dad’s “C” and a bunch of chains to get us out before Dad got home and tanned our hides. Well, we didn’t have enough chain to reach that M38 while keeping that “C” on terra firma, cuz I sure as hell wasn’t getting the tires on that old tractor stuck.

Meanwhile, our neighbor across the hollow came down to see “What the hell are you boys up to this time?” Yeah, we city kids were pretty well known throughout that rural community. He observed the situation and told us to just “sit over under that tree until I get back.”
About twenty anxious minutes later he returned trailing along behind his team of four huge Belgian draft horses and they all waded out into that creek. “Son, hook this rope up to that bumper and let’s get you kids out of there.”
thejeepjunkie hooked that rope from that team up to the ass end of that Jeep, jumped into the pilot’s seat, and Mr. Devine, with his four horsepower, pulled that old buggy to a dry rest, creekside. We thanked him profusely and he winked at us and said around his ubiquitous pipe, “Let’s just keep this between us, okay?”
I developed these pictures in my high school darkroom and screwed up the negative of the one I got of that team hooked up to that Jeep. And that pisses me off to this day.
I don’t know if Dad ever found out about this expedition but the fact thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan never got our asses tanned leads me to believe Farmer Devine carried this experience with him to the great beyond. But now that both he and Dad are together, I’m kind of afraid what’s gonna happen when I get there.

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  1. highmileage_v1 Avatar

    Now this brings back memories.
    A long time ago I was working out some exam stress by hooning my Gremlin ('74, 304, three on the floor, $500) out on the section lines South of where I was living. It was about mid-spring so there was still snow in the ditches and here and there in the fields. Well, I crested a rise, caught some air, and landed in some slush that was covering the prairie gumbo that made up the road. The Gremlins sterling handling traits (joke) weren't enough to keep me pointed down the section line. The tail went right, the nose left, and the next thing I saw was a massive amount of snow streaming past the windows as I went into the ditch, backwards. When the car came to rest I rolled down the window and dug my way through the snow to the road. The car was roughly 30' off the road and mostly buried.
    Looking around all I could see was an old farmhouse roughly a mile across the fields. It didn't look inhabited. Before I started hiking for help an old farmer crested the rise in his pickup and rolled to a stop beside me. He rolled down his window and stared a the snowcone Gremlin for a few silent minutes. After looking me up and down he kind of worked some words around his mouth and finally said, "Need some help?". "Yup" was my less than intelligent answer. "Back in five". He rolled up his window and disappeared down the road. Just when I thought he had abandoned me, an eight wheeled John Deere monster cruised up. After 5 minutes with a winch, the Gremlin was out, undamaged.
    The farmer waved and headed home with a story about another idiot from town. What amazed me, apart from my lack of driving talent, was the easy going manner the farmer had while hauling my sorry ass out of the snowbank. I suspect he had a few rambunctious sons of his own.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Having seen the heavy duty mechanical challenges that farmers deal with regularly, pulling a car out of a ditch is nothin'.

  2. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Man, you've got some stories. And a seriously lavish collection of photos to back them up. I envy you.
    Keep up the awesome work.

  3. JayP Avatar

    My dad said-
    If you have the means to help someone out, don't make a fuss.
    That was bored into my head early on.

  4. CptSevere Avatar

    Great stories. Yeah, a stuck Jeep is a pain in the ass. When I had my Jeep tour business, the stupid Iron Duke in my CJ8 ate its fiber timing gear out in the Tombstone mining district, while I had Jeep Tourists on board. Luckily, a buddy of mine and his wife were out there, too, and dragged us back in with his Toyota Forerunner, with a nylon strap. When a Jeep gets stuck, it's stuck, bigtime.

  5. facelvega Avatar

    Nothing to say here really, just didn't want the low number of comments to make you think we don't all appreciate these stories. I for one love 'em.

  6. Tom Lee Avatar
    Tom Lee

    I hate to tell you this, but the Gentleman Farmer knew about the episode in the creek, and somewhere I have a letter written to me by him telling me that the two of you would never know that he knew, and that gentleman with the team and Dad had many a laugh at your expense.
    Seems to me, one day, BBB and you two took me for a ride, follow the leader I seem to recall. Me and my new VW bus, with the Barngoddess1 in tow, we went over a hill and half way down I realized there was no returning, and thru Turn Back Creek went the Jeep followed by a perfectly new VW bus.
    Boy was I in the dog house with scotch (the dog not the liquer) for a month.
    Horsefarmer, tomleemo