"Jeep Freek" Dennis - Jeeps & Ice Cream - YUM"My husband Dennis Riggs is UNDOUTEDLY the World’s Biggest Jeep Freak ! It began many years ago when he bought his first Jeep vehicle and fell in love with it’s superior performance! That Golden Eagle Jeep Cherokee began his life-long passion for Jeeps. Dennis has not selfishly kept this passion all to himself. He has shared his enthusiasm with me (Marcia, his wife) and our three kids, as well as with everyone he meets. He is often referred to as “The Jeep Guy” by friends and neighbors. (Continued below photos.)
Dennis admires Jeeps, drives Jeeps, parades Jeeps and restores old Jeeps. He collects Jeeps, overhauls Jeeps, and trades Jeeps! Dennis has a collection of more than 15 Jeep vehicles. The collection includes everything from the unusual looking Jeep Fleetvans, to the FC (forward control) flat-nosed Jeep pick-ups, and vintage Willys Jeeps, including one with a front end loader and one with a trencher. He also collects toy Jeeps of all sizes and models, and has them proudly displayed in his office. He always has a toy Jeep to provide when asked for a donation to any local charity.
Not only does he collect Jeeps vehicles, but he has Jeep buckles, hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, key-chains, ink-pens, sweaters, posters, floor-mats and bumper-stickers. He wears Jeep brand blue-jeans, travels with Jeep luggage, wears Jeep ties, sips soda from Jeep mugs, and has a library of Jeep manuals and books. Vintage metal Jeep signs adorn his office walls, as he does his daily E-bay search for yet more Jeeps and parts.
Dennis has a fleet of remote-control Jeeps that makes him a hit when he constructs a Jeep “mini” 4 x 4 course for our kid’s high school post-prom, or the area church youth group to maneuver and race the Jeeps around the course. Of course the Grand Prize is a shiny new toy Jeep! The kids have a blast!
My Jeep freak hubby and I are members of the local “4 X Fools” club that takes Jeep riding seriously. We have attended 6 Camp Jeeps at various locations across the USA, including Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. These were Dennis’ idea of a family vacation with the whole Riggs family attending, going on Jeep trails, and talking with Jeep engineers to try and convince them to build a Jeep Gladiator Pickup.
Dennis built “Jeep Hills” on the edge of our farm for our family and friends to enjoy wheeling over the hills, moguls, and mud. More than one 4X4 has spent some time temporarily stuck in the mud bog at the bottom of the tallest hill!
Farming, rental property management and running the family owned ice cream shop keep Dennis busy, but with a few spare moments in his schedule, four years ago he talked the local Jeep dealership owner into hiring him as a part-time salesman. Needless to say, his passion and excitement for Jeeps accented his job interview and soon he was selling Jeeps with a smile on his face and loving every minute of it! “It’s not a job, it’s doing what I love to do and selling a product that I truly believe in!” states Dennis.
Dennis has successfully sold his Jeep enthusiasm to all immediate family members and over 200 extended friends as well. Dennis proudly drives his 2004 silver Jeep Grand Cherokee and on nice days, his restored 1984 Jeep Scrambler. His wife Marcia drives her blue Jeep Liberty, Navy son Darin drives his Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (which he had transported to his base in Guam), Marine son Matt drives his red Jeep Cherokee (which he drove to Alaska and back last summer), and daughter Megan drives her yellow Jeep Wrangler-Rocky Mountain Edition. Sister-in-law and brother-in-law Sharon and Dave have joined in the excitement. Both drive Jeep Libertys and Sharon prides herself with using her heated passenger seat to keep her pizza warm while on the way home from the local Moncials! Even Dennis’ Mother-in-law Marty adores her Grand Cherokee with a Hemi! She has even been know to “blow the doors off” some of the local high school boy’s high powered pickups at stoplights.
The Riggs family ice cream shop makes Jeep drivers delighted all summer by giving a free cone to all Jeep drivers one night a month –“Jeep Night” and allowing them to try their Jeep 4 x 4 capabilities by taking the “World’s Smallest Jeep Trail”, a steep hill on the back side of the Sidney Dairy Barn property. It’s not too big, but only a Jeep can make it.
Dennis was responsible for organizing a “Jeeps-on-the-Farm” display the past two summers at a regional farm history show. There were vintage Jeeps from several states with implements such as plows, augers, trenchers, PTO’s and discs, many still in working condition from as far back as the 1940’s. Thousands of people from all over the US were able to view the proud history of Jeep heritage.
From farm fence rows and pastures to a neighbor’s hog house, Dennis has kept his keen eyesight trained to spot an old Jeep in need of some tender loving care and a few new parts. Two of his “great finds” are his FC Jeep dual real wheel trucks that have actually been found sitting in a back pasture, barely visible. One having sat there so many years that a half grown tree had to be surgically removed from the frame before being hauled home to our farm! (SEE PHOTO ABOVE)
From Jeep trailing adventures in Alaska, to displaying in the local town car show in his prized Jeep Scrambler, Dennis enjoys it all! From providing his daughter’s Jeep Wrangler for a wedding couples’ escape from the church, to displaying one of his Jeep FC trucks at the local Bible School as the African Safari Jeep, Dennis has done it all. He (and all of us) has been inspired by his love of Jeeps! Dennis and his Jeeps are truly the “go anywhere, do anything” combination."
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