P.O. Box 5518, Pine Mountain Club, California 93222
While checking out Fulkerson's Hardware Store in Somis, California, I had the opportunity to talk to the founder, John Fulkerson. During our conversation, he mentioned that he had a 'tractor in a tree' that I could have if I felt like extracting it. He went on to say that his next door neighbor had purchased it new in the early Thirties and had sold it to him in the late Forties. He had used it regularly until about 1957, at which time it was parked in the field next to his house. He recalled noticing that a small shrub was growing under it several years later, and that several years after that the shrub had matured into a pepper tree.
Well, it took one second to say yes, and twenty-five man hours to cut it out of the tree. I arrived at John's home and he pointed out the tree that had engulfed the tractor. I walked around the tree but couldn't see anything in it. John assured me that the tractor was in that particular tree, and at his urging, I parted the branches and walked into it. Sure enough, an early Farmall 12, Waukesha powered, totally complete!
Day One: I arrived bright and early the next morning with an axe, two chain saws and two hapless friends, Elaine Campato and Cameron Mooney. We sawed and chopped down most of the tree; five hours.
Day Two: Same friends, one chain-saw, two Sawzalls; four hours.
Day Three: One friend, one chain saw, one Sawzall; four hours.
Day Four: No friends, no chainsaw (ran out of chains), no Sawzall (ran out of blades), one large electric drill; three hours.
The tree had so engulfed the wheels that I couldn't cut them out, so I had to drill enough holes to weaken the wood.
I then hooked a large chain up to my pickup and attempted to coax it out. Numerous tries later the coaxing turned into jerking. Finally, the jerking turned into do or die. Luckily both the tractor and pickup emerged unscathed from the BIG jerk! Miraculously, the tractor survived its almost forty years in the tree with not so much as even a bent spoke. It isn't green, but I like it anyway. Is there something wrong with me?