I have seen every episode of the TV show MASH. I have seen the movie that preceded the show more times than I can recall. The theme song on the TV show is the instrumental version of the song from the movie – Suicide is Painless. Donald Sutherland played a great version of Hawkeye Pierce in the movie – Alan Alda did that role proud. The one change I did enjoy from the movie to the show is Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan. As the show progressed, she became less and less a stickler for the rules and more and more of a compassionate person.
I loved watching the characters over time. The drama of war. The reality that just because it was a sitcom didn’t mean everything had a happy ending. Not everyone you grew to love went home. You heard the gunfire, but you rarely saw the enemy. The psychological aspect of war – the emotional toll – was captured and shown in a way not all war shows and/or movies can successfully do.
My dad being in field artillery made MASH even more interesting. In fact, it drove home the point of the show further given that my dad’s unit had howitzers from the Korean War – the last time that unit had been deployed. My dad was part of the leadership in the Guard Unit. This means he (and us kids) spent a shit load of time at the armory. The big rule: Don’t touch the door leading into the weapons room. It was heavily alarmed – and my dad did not want to get in trouble for that.
Hanging around jeeps and howitzers and duces was the status quo for my childhood. And when we saw on MASH them bouncing around in a Jeep, for example, we knew what that felt like having ridden in them many times. Same goes for the duce.
I think that’s why I have always wanted a Jeep. But, to be honest, I wanted one like my dad’s unit had (pre upgrade to the hummers obviously). I wanted one like on MASH where the windshield folded down. I wanted an old one. The new ones were nice – but they seemed like too much work and worry.
I have always joked that I would make that my midlife crisis mobile. I’d get rid of the vehicle that was family friendly, and get the Jeep.
I have learned not to make jokes to G. Sadly, I remember this after I have made one.
Last week, G informed me he wanted to let me in on my Christmas present. He had found a 1967 Jeep – and his plan (if I accepted) was for him to buy it for me. It has a few issues – and the colder than usual weather did not help that, I think. But, I saw it and knew that was the Jeep I wanted.
It was delivered to me Friday afternoon. The owner did not really want to part with it, but you could tell he had not found a valid reason to keep it. It had not be driven for a few years with any degree of regularity, and he really wanted it to be loved.
As we left, he asked if we would give him a call when we had it up and running and rehabbed. He really wanted to see her loved and running again. He had her for many years – and you could tell he was not ready for it to end.
Notice I’m calling the Jeep a “her”. It was clear was we hung out with him the other night that this Jeep was female in his eyes. He referred to “her” more than a few times as we talked. And while we tried to get her heated up so she would start, he clearly was cheering for “her”.
I decided as he was cleaning her off that her name would be Margaret – the main female character from MASH. Plus she is red so “hot lips” as a nickname would be perfect. I don’t know if she’ll stay red. I’m actually in the process of trying to find the plate on her engine that will tell me what color she should be. Thank you, Internet, for that info. And thank you taekwondo school for acquainting us with the nicest dad who happens to know all of the auto paint shops in the areas – as well as how to do it himself. I guess he’s already offered to paint it this spring.
Now she sits in the front of my house. I know she’ll run. She just needs a bit of TLC. I mean, she has low miles when you consider how old she is. I have visions of taking her out on backroads with one of the dogs so that I can take photographs. Given her history, I know she will.
The guy we bought her from, he made me promise to bring her by when she is running again. He wants to see her used. He loved that Jeep. It was, I think, the last remaining piece of his first marriage. Selling her brought it all to an end. But clearly is only the beginning for me.
And yes, Wayward Rider, it is an old Jeep! Boil away. 😉