Stan's Shadetree Tractor Stand
I was surely born with curiosity and fondness for mechanical things, especially tractors from the family farm era spanning the two or three decades begining in the early 1930's. As horsepower needs grew and the complexity of the machines developed in the "60's" and beyond...my interest waned.
My nostalgic pleasures arise from Iowa's prairies, and farms of a time when picture-book farms were the norm; the farm was a symbiotic composite of family, animals, and crops, each dependent on functions of another in the farm unit. The crops were raised not only for market but to fuel the Farm Machine as well. The chickens that provided grocery money from the sale of eggs might also fuel the family from a platter on the Sunday dinner table. A hog might be seperated from the market pigs and butchered....more farmer fuel. The dairy herd sometimes supplied a meat animal as well as the cream, cheese and butter for the farmer's table and dollars from the sale of milk. And the most important farm creatures of those days...,the draft horses, were cared for as if they were royal visitors...for the whole operation depended on this animal's stamina, and well-being; the farm-unit was as a living organism and the horse allowed it all to be fed and operate as a unit.
Now, enter the tractor; it soon replaced the revered draft animal...and left a void in the farmer's nurturing character. How could one feed, curry, and confide in a tractor...lead it to shade and water and how could one not miss feeling the bond and appreciation shown by Dobbin and Maude. Well..., the sentient farmer began a relationship with his iron horses that could only just begin to fill that gap...and as those who remember the transitions and the care and respect shown a piece of souless iron and rubber that would not ghee or haw, or even, Whoa..... WHOA,.. damn you, as it plowed through a closed gate, are blessed to be able to care for those early rusty horse surrogates....as long as the WD 40, Ospho, and the paint lasts there will be an honored tractor and its proud caregiver in the old iron parade.
I think there was not a creature
living that didn't seem pleasantly excited at the start-up of Popping Johnny's 2
cylinder engine; the farm animals knew it could mean feed time or fresh pastures, the farm
dogs ran to clear anything from the it's path...the birds and chickens knew worms and grubs magically
appear behind it's plowed furrows.....there was a pause in every neighbor's thoughts as he
imagined what task John Deere is about this day; in those days the next farm was not so distant. And no, this site is not about John Deere, it's more about all colors of
tractors...each with it's own distinctive sounds; but the truth is, a "Poppin'
John" will wake up your day in a special way that no other machine can...and I think
a thousand of us older farm boys can all agree to that. ...God Bless Minnie, Allis,
Henry and Harry....John, Oliver,....and just in CASE, ...God, bless all the letters of the
International alphabet....You know, A thru M... and so on.