A Sad Little Tractor Part 2

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

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

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.

Thank you Nancy Wilcox for a wonderful story that hit home so
much that it brought tears to our eyes. And thanks GEM for
publishing it.

NOW, I look forward to our round of reunions and meeting all you
people who CARE!

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