You didn’t really know Teh Jepp, but you’ve probably seen her around VCU basketball. She spent many a winter’s night hanging around the Bowe Street parking deck during VCU basketball games, and you may have caught a glimpse of her in Bon Air or the west end of town. She’s been known to idle at airports, waiting for the team to arrive home from a road trip.
Teh Jepp was never flashy–she didn’t wear makeup, and the most she adorned was the truncated “It’s Havoc You Fear” placard she wore on her front and rear. She changed her top just three times. Like Ed Nixon or Jarred Guest, her greatest asset was a stubborn consistency and willingness to do everything that was asked of her.
She never even saw one VCU basketball game live, but plenty great moments played on her radio. And even though she could not legally enter the Siegel Center, she is the very definition of a staunch supporter to the program.
Teh Jepp, my 2002 Jeep Wrangler, at 13 years old and proud steward of 188,000 miles, was given her death certificate. Her health had been slowly failing in recent months, and she died of natural causes after filling her belly with her favorite beverage, a cold Exxon 89 Octane.
Her life would make Rand McNally blush. She carted me to Raleigh with Jeff Capel, where Chris Paul broke our hearts. To Buffalo with Anthony Grant. Teh Jepp didn’t see The Dagger, but she made certain I did. When we arrived in Buffalo the fog was thick enough to eat. I was on the phone, no real idea where I was going, crossing a bridge and I could’ve driven right off. Teh Jepp was up to the task.
She went up I-64 to Harrisonburg and down I-64 to Norfolk. Up 95 to Fairfax and down 95 to Wilmington. Philly!
“I’ve got nothing,” said Scott Day, VCU Athletics director of communications.
It wasn’t all VCU basketball. She’s been down Carolina beaches, up numerous mountains, hauled kayaks, kids, and dogs. When the weather cooperated, she did this topless.
She came to me when The Beautiful One challenged me to get her, and there’s something perfect about that. In a harried email, I misspelled both words in “the Jeep.” The Beautiful One rightfully gave me a hard time for referring to my car in that manner, and a name stuck.
The greatest car in the history of cars, Teh Jepp, who got me to most of the 318 VCU wins since I bought it, is ready for a museum.