| September/October 1985

RR#1, Box 63 Avoca, Iowa 51521

We have been reading GEM about three years. We enjoy it very much. I thought I might try my hand at writing an article, possibly some of the readers might enjoy.

September 2, 1966, Momma and I were blessed with a baby boy. At first I thought he never would be any fun. A human being small enough to cradle in the palm of one's hand. With patience and about 10 years, he began to show some improvement.

One day when I got home from work, I found he had confiscated a good Briggs and Stratton mower engine and had taken parts from it to repair one he had that wasn't so good. I was quite pleased as he had it running and really quite good... considering it was a first attempt. I later had him take another one completely apart, wash all parts, grind the valves, etc. It took a complete weekend for him to put it all back together. I wanted him to know how to cut gaskets, as well as to evaluate ring condition, piston slap, etc. That engine also ran well and we were off to a flying start. When he was 12, he was busy repairing lawn mowers for our friends and neighbors. He was the youngest kid I had ever known who was self-employed.

At that time we were also told by our family doctor that he had something wrong with his bones. Also, if this condition didn't improve, he would be required to wear braces. This could possibly last the rest of his life. We decided to try to channel his interests into things less hazardous than sports. I proceeded to add to the sign on my pickup 'Green and Son' which made him quite proud, I think.

After that he asked if he could have an old John Deere tractor. He has several John Deere toy tractors. We three started searching the ads and the countryside until we found a 1940 Model 'H' J. D.