ALPINE, Calif. —
If you've taken a drive on Interstate 8 through Alpine, chances are a ballistic missile and battleship may have caught your eye.
In this Zevely Zone, I revisited MOPAR Ranch. There you'll find something you don't hear every day: "Anchor's Away in Alpine".
Four years ago, I had a blast at the patriotic playground. "This is my pirate cannon," said Terry Ulmer with a chuckle. He fired off the sound of freedom several times in front of his gigantic battleship. I asked Terry how many people he thought had a ship in their front yard? "One," he exclaimed with a big laugh.
Terry built the battleship, a missile launcher, and an intercontinental ballistic rocket on his Alpine property to honor the heroes on World War II.
"We worked eight hours a day, seven days a week and built this," said Terry. For 37 years Terry worked in Navy shipyards. He built the memorial as a tribute to the victims and survivors of Pearl Harbor. "My flag is fouled. See that?" asked Terry.
The last time I visited MOPAR Ranch, Terry ordered me to clear a fouled flag. I had to climb a 53 three-foot mast. "Oh, my goodness, my heart is starting to pound," I said. Terry added, "Ha, ha, wait until the mast starts moving. Good job striker."
Terry's father was a World War II Army veteran. He built the memorial for heroes like Stu Hedley, a Pearl Harbor hero who passed away in August of 2021. "Stu Hedley was the last one in San Diego County," said Terry. Stu may be gone but Terry hasn't stopped building. "It's a nuclear submarine," said Terry while pointing to his latest creation.
"That sounds dangerous," I said. My new mission was to head down the hatch. "Dive, dive, dive," said Terry. "That sailor has a lot of work to do."
"I'm getting a little claustrophobic," I said.
The Greatest Generation wouldn't have batted an eye if they did. "This is MOPAR muscle," said Terry while showing me his warehouse filled with muscle cars. Terry maintains the fleet of classic cars so he can treat our hometown heroes to parade rides in style.
"They gave their lives for our country. So, I wanted to give something back to them. So, people will remember what they did," said Terry.
Terry has an outfit to match every car. "Orange hat, glasses, cup," said Terry next to his orange car. "You know how hard it was to find maroon shoes?" laughed Terry next to his maroon race car.
I'm thinking slightly easier, than taking a submarine ride 1300 feet above sea level. "Surface, surface, Jeff surface!" yelled Terry. Nothing like victory in Alpine.
On May 12th, Terry will treat fifty Marines from all over the country to a luncheon at his memorial. If you'd like to watch a video about MOPAR Ranch, click here.
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