Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline May 2013
Special Article

Tales of Mongrel

The Sprite & the Lady

Susan and I started a 7 week trip to visit old friends around the country. I retired March 1st and we hit the road March 5th. One very special couple were neighbors of ours in Baltimore MD i.e. Fred and Pat Yee. Two very interesting people as they each carried a top secret civilian clearance working for the NSA (National Security Agency) in Fort G. Meade MD. The only thing I know about the NSA is that it has all of our spy satellites and given the fact that Fred and Pat’s work will never be de-classified that is all I will ever know!

Before they met each other, Pat worked as a government disbursing agent for the US Embassy in Panama. The year was 1960 and she also bought a 1959 Austin Healy “Bug Eyed” Sprite. Pat LOVED THIS CAR! In 1962 she was transferred to Laos and although it was on the other side of the world, she could not give up her Sprite. Pat had the car packed up and shipped to NYC. She then flew to NY, picked up the car and then drove it across country to San Francisco. The year was 1962…….imagine what that drive would have been like.

In San Francisco , the Sprite went on a boat and headed for Laos where she continued to drive until she met Fred (they met in Taipei) and decided to get married in 1965. Pat says she remembers driving the car down dirt roads dodging water buffalo and other various wildlife. Not quite a modern auto-cross type driving but damn close. I am sure the handling of the car helped and even made things fun.

Today Fred and Pat Yee live together in Olympia, Washington. They have 2 daughters (Sharon and Karen) living in Pittsburgh and Boston and 5 grandchildren.

Susan and I went thru their many, many passports and can only try to imagine the life they had. These are very special friends indeed!
~~Ralph Arata

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