The Wave

“Four fingers extended upward from the steering wheel, but may be modified to suit circumstances and locally accepted etiquette.” What is it? Why it’s the Urban Dictionary’s description of the “JEEP WAVE.”

When Wrangler owners passed each other on the road or at an intersection, they’d exchange this wave.  I know this because there was a time at this house that a bright orange Jeep took up residence here.

How we loved our Jeep.  Leroy bought it in California when he was doing a visiting professorship at USC.  He drove it across the country on his way home and who knows how many secret waves were shared in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and so on.

9 years ago on this final day of July, I accepted a check and watched as the Jeep left our front yard for the last time.

Leroy was too sick to watch from the window.  He was too sad too.  His cancer had taken so much from him that driving was no longer a part of his world.  It was the ultimate insult from this disease that been relentless in its pursuit of his active life.

That Jeep brought us so much joy.  We would jump in and rumble down the road and literally feel the years fall away.  We were kids again on an adventure.  And if we were lucky enough to pass another Wrangler I would watch Leroy’s four fingers rise off the steering wheel and he would laugh his big laugh, when the other Wrangler driver would return ‘the wave.’

So cool.

Such a wonderful memory.

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cathi simmons August 1, 2017 at 3:58 am

When Leroy wrote about “the wave” it stuck with me, so I started doing the 4-finger wave on the country roads where I live (near Portland, OR). Of course, I think of him every time…it’s my salute to Leroy.


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