870 Burch Road Williston, Tennessee 38076
It seems the older I get, the worse it gets! As soon as my long
anticipated Gas Engine Magazine arrives, I glance at the front
cover and back cover, fan through the middle, then a powerful
magnetic force pulls me to those irresistible classifieds! I think
every old iron nut feels that same magnetism.
As usual, studying each and every ad, 1 came across an ad for an
Allis Chalmers ‘B’ tractor on steel wheels. The Allis
Chalmers B was a popular tractor in the south, due to small farms
in the rolling hills. The B had a wide arched front axle, very
maneuverable, and most of all, affordable. When Allis Chalmers
designed the B, their vision was, this is the tractor that will be
responsible for putting the horse out to pasture.
Curious about the tractor, I inquired about this little
‘gem.’ Later I received a letter and pictures from Mrs.
Cindy Wolds in Iowa, and showed it to my wife. Already knowing her
second love is Allis-Chalmers tractors, she fell in love with the
little B. Yes, I have to admit, I was even a little jealous,
especially seeing that we had only been married six months.
Reality finally sunk in that we could not afford it. I called
the owner, Cindy, and told her. When I look back, Cindy really
loved this tractor but knew it needed a good home. She sounded as
disappointed as we were. She offered to extend us a few weeks to
see if our situation would improve.
The next weekend my father was over visiting us, and as usual
the conversation turned to tractors. We showed Dad the pictures of
the little gem, and told him the story. He was like a little boy
again. He could not put the pictures down. In fact, we never saw
the pictures again until several months later. Dad wanted to be
part owner with us, so I immediately called Cindy and locked in the
deal. It was a great day!
A few weeks passed and the trip to Iowa was set for the next
week. Dad was out of town on business and sent Cindy and her
husband a letter thanking them for their efforts and trust. The
note made it, but Dad did not. He passed away before he could
return home from his trip. A very sad day for us, and he will
always be in our thoughts.
I made one of the hardest phone calls in my life informing Cindy
what had happened. I told her (and as usual she was very
sympathetic), that without Dad we could not afford the tractor. But
how could we let his dream die?
As I stated earlier, my wife and I had only been married for six
months and I had been wanting to get her the engagement ring she
never got. 1 had been secretly saving for that special diamond. One
evening over coffee she was very depressed, thinking of her lost
father-in-law, and her beloved Allis B that was getting away.
That’s when I told her ‘Please, don’t get mad at me, I
haven’t been totally honest with you. I have been saving for a
diamond ring for you. Would you rather have the Allis B or the
diamond ring?’ I will never forget the gleam on her face. As
you can see, the little Allis has become mine and Cherie’s
‘gem’ of commitment to each other and my father. However, I
do plan to get Cherie that ring of commitment someday, unless…
‘Hey, Honey, is that a Rumely in the classifieds?’
I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Wolds for all they have done
and I would like to dedicate this article to my wife and late
father who have taught me that if you keep faith, dreams do come
The photograph above comes from Larry Puckett, 3201 Burnett
Road, Suwanee, Georgia 30024, who writes: ‘This 4 HP United hit
& miss engine only needed a little TLC (that’s tender
loving care) and a new paint job. This is one of three 4 HP Uniteds
I own, one being a TG engine. Also in my collection is a complete
set of 1, 3, 6, & 10 HP International type M’s, and an
early M with a gear driven mag and under-strike ignitor. I also
have several other engines.’ He continues, ‘I really enjoy
GEM, and the engine shows and all the nice people I meet. By the
way, the 1936 fire engine and pumper in the background is for sale
and needs a good home!’