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Mrs. Wooten’s Wagoneer

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s design virtually never changed, making it one of the few automobiles that connected entire generations of people.

Kelly and I had long since fallen in love with the classic lines of the Grand Wagoneer. The legacy of the car is renowned; many credit the Wagoneer for inspiring the concept of a luxury SUV. It competed with Range Rovers because it offered finer appointments to a truck-based platform more often associated with rugged austerity. Wagoneers were a staple of WASP culture, the preppy automobile of choice for lawyers and doctors and their private school kids.

These days, the cars are symbols of a vintage culture that floats further and further away. Put a Christmas tree on the roof rack and a wreath on the front grill, and you have enough Lands End kitsch that you can probably leave the kids out of your holiday card photo. I’ve always wondered about who drives these things and what kinds of lifestyles they might lead.

So when we spotted a Grand Wagoneer around town, it was interesting to see not just the car but who was behind the wheel.

This Land is Your Land

We don’t forget whom we mourn on Memorial Day as much as we do why.

Yes, let’s all remind ourselves that this Memorial Day Weekend, while occasion for backyard barbecues and festivities, was wrought to mark the somber occasion of those heroes who charged into battle, who laid down their lives to ensure the light of liberty would endure.

This is the meme that surfaces for a breath every year, filling timelines with lines like “Our day at the beach is thanks to their day at the beach,” over top a photo from Normandy, or a little boy dressed in his father’s Marine uniform, lying prone against brilliant emerald grass, a tombstone in the blurry background.

Yes, people–men, women, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, some little more than children, others career-long servants–these and many more died for our country.

An Overwhelming Surprise

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