| February/March 1987

301 Jefferson Lane Ukiah, CA 95482

As time passed and the engines began accumulating at a slow but steady rate, I realized that this 'gas engine bug' was more serious than it first appeared. As the symptoms progressed, I wondered 'what could he possibly want next?' I soon found out!

It started out innocently enough. 'Honey, see this picture in GEM of a Fairbanks-Morse? It's just like mine, a real beauty. Oh, and look at this nice little tractor next to it.' Then a week or two goes by and he starts remembering driving a tractor on Grandpa's ranch in Colorado, or the Fordson that Uncle Howard had on the farm in Nebraska. If you ignore these early signs of the 'I want a tractor' virus, you could be in trouble. It's best to face it head-on.

Our house already had some engines here and a few over there, with a couple of more out back, and one or two at a friend's house. So where is he going to put a tractor? I made it clear that my car sleeps in the garage and would continue to do so! So, out he went looking for a place to park a tractor, returning with a smile that I'll never forget.

'If it's four and a half feet wide, nine feet long and no more than seventy inches high, a tractor will fit in the corner of the garage, under the cupboards and still give you plenty of room to park your car!' 

As he went on about the joys of owning a tractor, I found myself feeling lucky we didn't have a barn.