Saturday, February 6, 2010

Little Red Tractor

To me it was the baby tractor. It sat in the barn all red and pretty to a farm girl with bobbing blonde curls.

Dad had two tractors. Both Massie Harris (Later Massie Ferguson. Evidently in the war between the clans, the Fergusons won. I’d rather not think of a Scotsman in a kilt on his tractor). One tractor was more powerful and harder to get up on as I remember. The little tractor was just plain cute. Just the right size for a Goldilocks.

Pop Johnson had a Ford tractor. Gene Johnson had John Deere. I believe Grandad had dear John as well. I could drive the little Ford tractor when I was little, but Dad would not turn me lose on the little Massie. I remember always asking Dad if we could take the little one instead of the big red tractor. I’m sure he knew his little girl was captivated.

I remember when I finally had the okay to drive the tractor. I was much older and allowed to pull the manure spreader. The good combined with the ugly. It was a job that needed to be done. I sat on the tractor proud at last to be the driver.

On one visit back home, my friend, Brenda and I went to the great Darke County Fair. Her son was showing a tractor he had revived from the past. I was expecting a Farmal which was what their family had, but, no, it was a Massie Harris. I remember feeling warmed at the sight of an old friend. It seems that we farm kids remember our tractors as much as we do our first cars.

In reflection, I find that the experiences, the recollections are more vivid and alive with new understanding. Today in my revisiting the past, I am once more on the little red Massie Harris, a young girl loving a tractor.

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