in the Family
Forrest Thomas, Barry's father and Evan's grandfather, is pictured
at the top left of the page with 2 WWII Ford jeeps. Forrest is
the first member of the family to drive and work on a jeep. At
the time this picture was taken we're sure he wasn't thinking
he'd be working on them with his son and grandson 60 years later.
Paul "PD" Lawson, Barry’s father-in-law and Evan’s grandfather,
owned at least 3 “flat fender” jeeps, including one with a 3 point
hitch and PTO. PD and the rest of the family can remember a yellow
jeep, and we have color pictures of red and blue jeeps.
PD purchased all his Jeeps used including his first pictured 2nd
from the top left of the page. Paula (age 4) at the wheel shows
the Jeep bug bites early in the family. Of note to us are the
side skirts on the rear wheels, the back seat and the column shift.The
column shift dates this as among the earliest civilian jeeps,
an early 1946 CJ-2A.
On Jeep number two, pictured 3rd from the top, you can just make
out the Monroe 3-point implement lift in the bed. PD, Sally, Butch,
and Paula Lawson pose with the inspiration of our farm jeeps.
PD's recalls the jeep with the Monroe lift being yellow. He also
remembers purchasing this jeep from a manufacturing plant that
had used it to pull a mower, but were not satisfied with the performance
(the CJ-2A has a horrible turning radius compared to a tractor
and implements pulled behind the jeep were very hard to see).
At some point PD traded the jeep with the Monroe lift to the police
department who wanted to use a rear mounted blade for snow removal
for another jeep.
The red jeep, pictured 4th from the top, is the first color photo
we have of the family's jeeps. Paula, Sally, PD's mother (Paula's
grandmother & Evan's great grandmother), a little boy with
his hand over his face, Butch, and PD are pictured. It is possible
that the red jeep remained in the family until Paula's high school
graduation and a infamous jeep flip that sent four recent high
school graduates flying.
The blue jeep, the 5th from the top, was in the family when Barry
and Paula were married in 1968, and is the jeep Evan remembers
from his youth. From left to right, Ruth, Frank, and Caroline
Lawson are pictured.
Sixth from the top, Paula and Barry (circa 1973 using the Paula's haircut dating methodology)
The seventh, and last, picture on the left is Maddie (age 3 1/2) ready to help her dad test drive the newly reassembled blue CJ-3A.
The two photos below show Evan (age 14 months) and PD in the blue
and the family traditions continue in "Old Yeller"
Bruin the lab & Frank (Sally's son) Sally
Bruin, PD, & Paula in the backseat Evan
Additions... to the family (and another jeep)
introduced his daughter Madeline (age 2 weeks) to the Willys at
a family gathering while Evan's wife Tammy could only look on
shaking her head. Paula and Barry got into the act sharing the
joy of jeeping with their first grandchild. As Paula pointed out,
Madeline is the 5th generation of the family to be pictured in
a jeep. Robert joined the family in 2008 and is already showing signs of the jeep bug.
Evan & Madeline (2005) Paula,
Madeline, & Barry
3 year old Maddie in her own Jeep Robbie (8 months) at the wheel
You may have noticed that most of the jeeps pictured have had
the "Lawson" treatment applied: no windshield. The lack
of windshields robs us of clues at to the model and year of some
of the Jeeps. The jeep with the Monroe lift and the red jeep might
have been 3As.
We considered including a family tree, but thought that it might
just add to the confusion. The point is, this family likes its