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
Day Two: Same friends, one chain-saw, two Sawzalls; four
Day Three: One friend, one chain saw, one Sawzall; four
Day Four: No friends, no chainsaw (ran out of chains), no
Sawzall (ran out of blades), one large electric drill; three
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?