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Remembering Allison Parliament

Remembering Allison Parliament

Terry Pritchard
Staff Writer 

 We’ve all seen the rubber ducks on Jeeps. It’s almost ubiquitous with Jeeps themselves in today’s world. They're practically impossible to miss on the dashes of Jeeps.

 There is a story about how these ducks came to be. And that story has a sad chapter today. The wonderful woman who started the movement to duck Jeeps, Allison Parliament, passed away on June 22. She leaves behind a remarkable story that has touched Jeep enthusiasts by bringing a little more joy to their lives.

Through Thunder Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, a heartfelt statement was released from her family, "Allison's impact on the Jeep community worldwide was profound, spreading kindness and joy through her simple yet powerful initiative." The post continued, "Her vision brought smiles and created connections among Jeep lovers everywhere, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie."

 During the early days of COVID-19, Allison was driving from Alabama to visit her cousin in Bancroft, Ontario. She stopped to refuel her Jeep Wrangler Sahara during her journey.

While there, someone saw her Alabama license plate and got upset, accusing her of being a 'dirty' American trying to spread COVID. I remember that I could still see the immediate fear in her eyes as she recounted this story. Upset, Allison quickly got back on the highway to her destination, but the incident left her afraid and worried to leave the house. 

Having purchased a bag of rubber ducks at a general store, Allison decided to hide them around the house with little notes to cheer up her friend. Obviously, this wasn’t ducks being placed on Jeeps but was a precursor to the start of a world-wide phenomenon.

It started with little-to-no fanfare but that one spark led to the spread of an extremely hot trend. "I had a permanent marker in my pocket, as I always do, so I decided to write 'Nice Jeep' on one of the ducks because there was a really nice Jeep outside. I thought, 'What the heck, I might as well make someone else laugh,'" Allison said. "The guy who got the duck saw me and asked, 'Whatcha doing?' He cracked up and said, 'This is amazing, we need to put this on social media.'"

 

And that she did, using the hashtag 'DuckDuckJeep.' Within hours, it had spread to 2,000 followers. And, in just 10 short days, it grew like wildfire to 10,000. "Now it’s become this huge thing," she said. "Instead of focusing on hate, we wanted to focus on kindness."

With this focus on kindness, jeepers began sharing pictures of ducks and their jeeps from all over the world. Demonstrating the interactions and personal connections at parking lots, Jeep events, off-road trail rides, and in everyday life. It was more than just placing ducks on Jeeps; it was genuine camaraderie and kindness.

Allison founded, ‘Official Ducking Jeep Est2020,’ and it is officially recognized by Jeep and has over 79k followers on Facebook at the time of this post. Even Jim Morrison, the Head of Jeep Brand in North America, has mentioned the movement.

Allison gave her time and care to spread the good will. She attended many events throughout the year, spreading the ducking movement and graciously connecting with tons of supporters.

"There really aren't any strict rules about ducking someone's Jeep. The idea is to keep it polite and non-invasive," Allison said. "You don't need a reason for Jeep ducking other than to connect, bring a smile to someone's face, and have fun." If you have a duck and see a Jeep you like, go ahead and spread a little fun. Just put the duck somewhere the owner will easily spot it.

As Allison said, "Everybody needs kindness." With that in mind, it doesn’t just have to be for Jeepers.

"We don't know what others are going through," she said. "We could walk a mile in someone else's shoes and never understand. So, kindness goes a long way, no matter what you're facing."

Tributes have been flowing on social media. “In honor of Allison's legacy,” her family announcement requested, “that everyone flood Facebook with images of their ducks... Let us come together to celebrate the kindness she inspired and the community she built.”

Jeepin’ Terry is the Events & Offroad Guru for Oracle Lighting. In his spare time, he is the host of the Jeep Life Podcast and co-founder of the Jeep Enthusiasts of Eastern Pennsylvania, one of the largest Jeep clubs in the state. His obsession with Jeeps started in the 80s with his boss’s big bad blue CJ5. Growing up in the mountains of Tennessee, Terry spent plenty of time on the trails and in the outdoors. His 2017 Wrangler, named Kylo, has been to California and back and everywhere in between, finding trails and adventures everywhere… and constantly asks for more.
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