by Larry Shank
Return to Mom, Dad, a Jeep and a Teardrop: Part 1
The story of Harry and Harriette Shank's 1950s camping trips in the southwest United States continues with these unique home movies narrated by their son Larry, showing their customized Jeep CJ-3B and Kenskill Teardrop trailer in action. The three QuickTime 480p movie clips are between 2 and 4 minutes long. In case you can't play the movies, we've included stills on this page showing some of the highlights. -- Derek Redmond
Watch the movie Glendale (4 MB).
Mom drives the new 1953 CJ-3B down the driveway in Glendale, California -- the first movies of the new Jeep. Some later footage at home in Glendale includes the steering headlight (shown as Dad rewinds the winch.)
Getting ready for the first trip with the new Jeep, June 1953. This is Mom (in the red shoes) and her best friend, Louise (in the blue shoes) packing for a trip to the Grand Canyon. You'll also see me at 18 months old, climbing behind my seat and steering wheel for my first camping trip, in 1956.
The guy running after the Jeep and trailer is Dad's best friend Frank (Louise's husband) who didn't want to miss the trip and be left behind! They drove all night from L.A. to catch the mule ride to the bottom of the Canyon the next morning!
Frank and Louise lived close by from the late 40's through the late 70's in Glendale. Their kids and I are the same age, went to school together and are life-long friends. "Uncle Frank" and "Auntie Lou" currently live just 10 miles from Pam and me.
Watch the movie Capitol Reef and Canyonlands (7 MB).
This was the "old road" to Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. It wandered up the stream bed and was notorious for flash floods -- Dad loved it! He pulled several tourists out of the mud on this road. This road was replaced in the 1960s by Highway 24 to Hanksville -- a primary access road to Bullfrog Marina on Lake Powell.
That's Mom driving the Jeep with me, on my first camping trip. We are on the way to Dinosaur National Park for the first trip with the raft on the Yampa River.
1956, Capitol Reef, Utah -- we're fording streams and navigating canyons. And in Canyonlands Park, Utah in 1954/55 (before it was a park) you'll see the view from the driver's seat, and the Jeep in four-wheel-drive heading up Elephant Hill. Late afternoon finds Mom and Dad in a campsite inside Canyonlands.
Note the new 1956 yellow license plate (we still have it.) You'll also see a black rubber bag on the front bumper, driver's side. This was the "washing machine." Fill it with dirty clothes, detergent and water, and drive for the day on rough roads in the summer heat. Rinse and dry -- that's why there is a clothes line on the back of the Teardrop.
Watch the movie Glen Canyon and Monument Valley (7 MB).
In 1960/61 we have a campsite by the Colorado River in Glen Canyon, Utah. The area is now covered by Lake Powell.
In 1954/55 at Paria Ghost Town, Utah, Mom drives through the mud near our campsite.
The canvas bag on the driver's side under the rear view mirror, was filled with water and acted as an evaporative cooler for canteens of water and most importantly... vodka (to be mixed later with Tang, an orange-flavored powdered drink mix popular in the 50's/60's.)
Finally, in 1972 in Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah, this is me driving the Jeep two days after my high school graduation. Dad and I were on a return trip to the Yampa River for the first time since my first camping trip in 1956. Mom joined us later on this trip. This footage was taken on part of the "classic" loop through Monument Valley. The Teardrop was in camp with the raft and outboard motor. This was Dad's favorite place.
Thanks to Larry for sharing the movies with us. -- Derek Redmond
Continue to Part 3: more expeditions, and the restoration of Jeep and trailer.
Return to Mom, Dad, a Jeep and a Teardrop: Part 1.
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