100 Years Too Late

John Deere

Mike Burdge's favorite engine is this 1 HP John Deere.

Content Tools

314 Green Ridge Road, Cartersville, Georgia 30120

Let me tell you about Mike. He should have been born 100 years ago, on a farm in the Midwest, but he was born in Connecticut in 1960 in the city. He went to his first gas engine show around 1980 and was immediately drawn to antique machinery. He purchased a 4HP upright Novo and it all started. Oh, how he loved restoring old 'one lungers' and going to shows where almost everyone there was twice as old or older. He fit right in. He acquired a 3HP Domestic and 6HP Associated, but his favorite was an old 1? John Deere he got at the Tri-State Engine Show in Indiana. We went there for our family vacations.

Now Mike cannot travel. He has developed a serious illness. He has kidney failure, and was forced to give up his career as a tool-maker and go on a grueling dialysis machine three times a week. His health was gone. He did, however, continue to restore this last engine.

Mike's been on dialysis for almost seven years now, even after his brother Scott lovingly donated one of his kidneys and it failed within one week. We were all heartbroken. You only hear of the successful transplants in the news.

Mike continues to be brave and positive. His faith keeps him going and helps him cope and endure. His only wish, he tells me, is that he would someday love to see his engine on the cover of GEM, one of his favorite magazines.