How “duck” became a positive, light-hearted pastime for Jeeps

GRAND HAVEN — Jason Rogers of Grand Haven has been “ducked” several times. And he loves it.

It’s because he has a jeep.

Rogers has always had a Jeep. He never liked fast cars or fancy accessories. He never wanted anything other than a Jeep – especially the iconic Wrangler. He buys them with no frills, takes them apart and tinkers to create his own unique models. So far he has done it with 14 Wranglers.

“I will be buried in a jeep,” he said.

But he didn’t know about the Jeep’s connection to little rubber ducks until he found one on his Wrangler’s fender while working in Muskegon. He thought some small child had passed by and left it. Then Rogers started seeing little rubber ducks on Facebook pages devoted to Jeeps.

It’s all part of a positive message movement known as “duck.”

Rogers still has the first duck — it’s yellow, with a smiley face — and knows now that it was a deliberate move by someone praising his Jeep and wishing him a good day.

He has collected 50 to 100 additional ducks, all different and all left by unknown persons. He has found most of them just sitting on their parked Wrangler. But one came from someone in Daytona Beach, Fla., who tossed a duck to Rogers through his open window as he drove along the beach.

Kris Kelly of Berkley plays with her granddaughter Eloisa Mae Murrell, 2. Berkley considered taking her granddaughter to a Detroit auto show after hearing about kid-friendly features like a 61-foot duck honoring Jeep fanatics.

“I keep them because it makes me remember that moment when I found each one,” he said.

Remembering is common among those who have been “ducked”. Especially the first duck.

Kevin Kane’s first duck appeared on his Wrangler at Grand Haven State Park. Eric Leafs was on his Gladiator at Turk’s Tavern in Nunica. Karen Bensons was in her Renegade in the parking lot at Franklin Avenue and First Street in Grand Haven.

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