THE START OF A LONG FRIENDSHIP

Rotary mower

Content Tools

7092 Hunters Ridge Drive Plainfield, Indiana 46168

I can still remember the day in the mid-Fifties when the Gravely dealer (Jack Dayton, Louisville) delivered the shiny new Model LI with a rotary mower, rotary plow, and cultivator to my father. I was in junior high and this was the start of a long 'friendship.' We quickly built a riding sulky, and by the following summer I had established an extensive mowing service for the times.

Later, when I had my first home several years after college, I 'borrowed' the tractor from my mother and used it until I moved into a condo. It was then returned to southern Indiana and sold.

Upon reading the fine article in the July 1994 GEM, my interest in Gravelys was again renewed. I had moved and had a small area of woods that needed to be mowed and cleared of small brush.

Remember the circular saw that attached to the rotary mower drive portion? My family made some inquiries and learned of a man who might have an old Gravely. When we visited his shed, there was a Model LI, fitted with an electric start, a Model L, steering sulky rotary mower, axle extensions, and a 'pile of parts.' After negotiations the Gravelys and parts were mine. As Gravely owners remember, you either loved or hated them. This fellow fell into the latter group.

I've since picked up the tractors and stored them at my parents' home. As the picture shows, they need some 'detailing' to return to mint condition. But, the best part of all was when we discovered that the LI tractor was the one owned by my father! I could identify the marking on the gas tank holding shroud and the spare flywheel/crank casting that had been drilled years ago to mount a pulley for a V-belt/electric motor start system. I don't intend to again let it be out of my 'friendship.'