Since 2002, Evan and I have shared this site for our own pleasure and hope that others enjoy it too. A series of events has caused me to take a different direction from all play and no work. I have become more concerned with preserving the Farm Jeep history. And a recently published article has me asking another question – who should tell these stories?
The December 2018 issue of Farm Collector magazine contains an article titled “The Farm Jeep– Low-cost alternative to the tractor couldn’t cut it on the farm” by Darrel Wrider. Even before reading the article, I was offended by the title. How could anyone say such negative things about our beloved Farm Jeep? How could the author have made so many mistakes? How could the editor allow this to happen? I lost sleep trying to figure out how to correct this injustice.
I contacted the author at the provided email address, trying my best to appear to be a calm rational being. I asked him for his Jeep story, the one that had led him to write the article. He replied that he didn’t really have a Jeep story and in fact had never seen a Farm Jeep. He just thought it would be a fun article to write and gathered his information from the Web. He hadn’t found farmjeep.com in his searches.
How could this happen? Don’t we of the Willys community have exclusive rights to these stories? After more fuming, a letter to the editor and more lost sleep, it finally occurred to me that the answer is simple. In this day and age there are no such niceties as staying in your own lane. Mr. Wrider has every right to publish what he wishes for fun or profit and is not beholding to anyone. The Web is where we get our information, factual or otherwise. Like it or not, Mr. Wrider beat me to the punch with his story. I am saddened that the article readers will have a very incomplete introduction to the Farm Jeep. But the article is also an unbiased assessment based on the data Mr. Wrider had in front of him.
So. who should tell the Farm Jeep stories? I know for certain that we are blessed with members of the Jeep community who have worked to preserve history. While researching the four companies that produced the Farm Jeep lifts, certain names kept appearing. We have authors and publishers. We have a wealth of knowledge that needs to be preserved and shared.
What is to be done? My wish for the New Year is that the keepers of the Farm Jeep history will continue to share the told and untold stories through whatever means they have. In the forums, in articles or on the Web. We should tell the story and soon. There is already a segment of the public whose impression of the Farm Jeep is that it was a short-lived failure. Say it ain’t so….