Growing up – I can remember my dad mowing the property each week with an old second-hand farm tractor It was older – and had a few dings and knicks – but even at my young age, I could tell my dad loved that tractor. When he wasn’t mowing, he would often let me or one of his grandchildren up with him to “drive” it around, letting us steer while he worked the pedals. I dreamed of the day I would be “big enough” to drive it all by myself, just like dad.
My father passed away when I was 12 – and that old farm tractor was a little too dangerous for my mom to let me mow the property with. So with that in mind – the tractor was sold and I spent the next 5 years before college mowing with those 10 acres with an 18 HP ranch King Garden Tractor. I put a million hours and a million miles on that little garden tractor – and loved every minute of it. But in the back of my mind…I still dreamed of having a big old farm tractor someday, just like my dad.
Since starting the farm – I think I have reminded Mary of that dream of an old tractor on a weekly if not daily basis. Of course – many things needed to come first. Like the garden – a driveway, the chicken coop – and of course a barn to store it in. But every week as we drove around – we kept our eyes peeled looking for “the one”. After purchasing the much-needed farm truck earlier this summer – we had all but let go of the tractor dream happening this year. Then fate stepped in.
This past Monday – innocently enough – a business client and friend of mine (Ray) happened to ask if we were still looking for that special old tractor for our farm. He knew of our little farm project and had heard me talk a time or two about the tractor dream.
It just so happened that Ray had his grandfather’s 1957 Ford 860 – with its own great history as well. It was purchased new by my client’s grandfather back in the 1950’s – and used on their big family farm up near Powell, Ohio. Much like myself, Ray had grown up getting rides on the tractor and waiting for the day he could “drive” it himself. As it was passed down to him through the years, he had used it to mow and work on his own property, until recently deciding to purchase a new model that could handle bigger chores. He told Mary and I that he really didn’t want to sell it to anyone – but needing to make room for his new one – he had thought of us and the farm – and knew it would be a great home for his grandfather’s old Ford.
Although in great working condition – we will give her some extra TLC over the coming months and restore her even closer to her original glory. She will definitely be a working tractor. We will use her to mow the grass with a good finish mower – and more importantly – to give those all important “hay rides” when we have visitors to the farm.
As I stepped up on it for the first time to take it for a test drive with the old engine purring, I let go of the clutch, and 31 years later – I felt a feeling of euphoria that can’t be described. Mary took her turn as well at the controls – and I think it was love at first drive for both of us.
I’ll never be able to thank Ray enough for making a dream finally come true. The Farm finally has its old tractor!
Mary and Jim