East Texas Addictions Sure Grow Fast

| September/October 1991

P.O. Box 446, Buffalo, Texas 75831

It all started simply enough: a so-called friend, Sonny House, from New Braunfels, gave me a contraption he called a one cylinder engine. This was the beginning of my addiction! Just to show how ignorant I was at the time, I spent three years looking for a magneto for the 1? HP Fairbanks Morse until someone told me that it never did have one. ('What are you talking about, timing marks on the gears?')

Since the initial learning experience, I have purchased, searched for, been given, and otherwise acquired approximately eight-no, make that ten-one cylinder engines. Not all of them run yet, but just give me time and more lube.

Then, my habit took a turn for the worse when someone gave me a John Deere tractor. Well, I was doing pretty good by now because I had learned so much, like magnetos, coils, and spark plugs and how well meaning brothers-in-law can sure give you a shock! John Deere tractors only have two cylinders, so why not try to restore one?

I am a veterinarian in rural east Texas, and I am surprised that I have not killed myself while driving on large animal calls because I am now looking in every fence row and pasture, behind every barn, or wherever I think I might find an old engine or tractor.

That gift tractor was the best thing that has happened to me. On December 20th, 1989, Horace Epps called me just at dark to come deliver a calf. I did not want to go because the temperature was in the lower teens with the wind blowing at 30 MPH, and believe me, we are not accustomed to that kind of weather! But I went, and driving through his gate to the cow pen I passed what looked like an entire salvage yard for old tractors. In my headlights I saw a styled John Deere and began having visions of restoration on a larger scale.