A Sad Little Tractor Part 2

Part 2

| September/October 1979

  • Neglected Junk Heap
    Neglected junk heap;
  • 1938 John Deere B
    Beloved member of family named 'Johnny Popper.' 1938 John Deere 'B' restored by Mike Stortenbecker.

  • Neglected Junk Heap
  • 1938 John Deere B

Omaha, Nebraska 68104

Last night my husband, Mike, read the story 'The Sad Little Tractor' out loud to me, (GEM - July/August 1979). I want to thank the author, Nancy Wilcox for telling our story so beautifully. The 1938 John Deere 'B', affectionately known as Johnny Popper, that came into our family this year, had the same sad and lonely existence as Johnny AR. What looked like a heap of junk ready for the scrap pile to most others, looked like a future to Mike -it just needed some encouragement and a paint job (and sundry items?).

We even have a blonde lady in our story too. Not me-but our fourteen-month-old daughter, Annie already loves Johnny Popper as much as her parents. And when it comes to tinkering with machinery and getting greasy, she's sure got her father's genes.

Whereas before, Johnny Popper was forgotten (he wasn't even the tractor Mike had gone to look at). nobody comes to see us now without admiring, hanging, sitting, climbing on him. Why he even takes us visiting!

Mike was 'bitten by the bug' about seven years ago. I guess I have always been 'politely' interested- 'Oh, that's nice ...,' and I've been to the shows, smelled the paint in the living room, helped carry flywheels (several times), etc. You know! But I just didn't feel it was all that important.

But after reading such warm, lovely feelings expressed, I can see that the machinery is not all of it and I can begin to understand the magic.