This Is Sharing0

By Staff

2225 North F Street, Stockton, California 95205

Our collecting ‘old iron’ didn’t start instantly. My
husband Donald had one nice old garden tractor on the front lawn
for several years and never gave a thought to adding to it.

Then on a vacation, a year and a half ago, he spotted an old
rusty tractor and asked about it. The guy said, ‘You can have
it for $75, but you have to take them both.’ (As it turns out,
my husband likes the second one better, it is an Ottawa Buzz Saw).
We did buy them, but we couldn’t rent a trailer there on
Sunday, so we said we would have to get back to them later. We went
back to pick them up and took the ‘scenic route’ home, and
bought another tractor before we got home.

Now, on our weekend drives, I must always be prepared for
lengthy stops ‘just to say hello’ or ‘just to take a
look.’ He won’t talk three minutes on the telephone, but
let some farmer or tractor collector stand still for two minutes
and he’ll talk for 45 minutes to an hour and still think it was
only a few minutes. I usually have to take along a note pad to
write down ‘pertinent information.’ I also bring along a
book to read and a snack, in case we don’t make it to
‘civilization’ before I starve. He usually takes back roads
so he can peer into backyards or fields. He even carries a set of
binoculars in each vehicle, ‘just in case.’

Standard equipment for our weekend drives is the map book, a
tablet and pen, camera (to photograph all the tractors he sees),
and the high power camera lens (to photograph all the tractors
‘up close and personal,’ and to get a view of the ones he
can’t get close to). We also take along his three garden
tractor books so he can research ‘on the spot’ anything
that looks different. We take his two large photo albums of all the
tractors we have ever seen, to share with anyone willing to look at
them, which is usually most of the people he talks to on our

When we are on our way to or from a specific town of any
distance from our home, it can take double or triple the time to
get there. He wants to go on ‘undiscovered’ roads to see
what is there. While in the car, at any given moment, he will stop
the car and turn around to go back and get a better look at
something. He even does this while pulling the trailer.
‘It’ll follow,’ he says.

On our way to a family get-together, we drove a different route
to get another look at something at a junk store. The store
wasn’t open, so we waited an hour before we gave up and went on
to see the family. We phoned the proprietor from our destination,
and told him we would be stopping by again the next day. Well we
did, and he wasn’t open. We waited another hour and went on
down the road toward home, but we ran into a large yard sale and
stopped. When we were done there, we drove back two miles to the
junk store, which was then open. The engine Donald wanted to see
didn’t turn out to be anything. The trip seems to have been
wasted, but now he can sleep better having checked it out

On our way home from there, we stopped in a nearby town and
Donald bought another garden tractor. Now we didn’t have a
trailer with us, only the van. He said, ‘Oh, I can get it in
there.’ Well he did, but I didn’t mention that we had to
sleep in the van with the tractor in there. Climbing over part of
it and having the handles over my legs wasn’t so bad, but I
bumped my head on the handles in the morning.

We recently took a train trip back east. We went to the Pioneer
Museum in Minden, Nebraska, and to see his brother near Fort Smith,
Arkansas. While we were in Arkansas, Donald took ‘drives’
with his brother and me. Well, do I have to mention the telephoto
lens? He found some tractors in people’s yards. He even climbed
through a barbed wire fence to get a ‘better look see.’
Then he went around to the house and talked to the owner. You
guessed it! He bought both of the tractors right then and there
(2000 miles from home and no trailer, not to mention, no car
either). They picked up the tractors and took them to his
brother’s house. When we were on our two hour ride back to the
train depot in our rental car, Donald spotted another garden
tractor that he hadn’t seen before. He turned the car around
and stopped to talk to the man. He bought that one too. So from our
motel that night, he called his brother to have him pick it up and
keep it at his place, ‘until we could get back there to get
them.’ We now have three tractors in Arkansas waiting for us to
get back there again, with a trailer.

We recently went three hours from home to pick up a 16 foot
utility trailer that he will be able to use to carry his tractors
to the tractor shows. All went well, and we were only 15 miles from
home when he had to stop to look at a tractor in someone’s
front yard (which was NOT for sale). BUT, the man did have some in
the backyard that were. So Donald bought another garden tractor.
The trailer looked funny with only one small tractor on it, but I
held my breath all the way home. I was sure he would find another
before we got home. Now I shudder whenever we have to go some where
with the empty trailer, because I know it won’t stay empty

I do not say all this in a complaining way. I love Donald and I
love his hobby. He shares every aspect of this hobby with me even
if I don’t know what he’s talking about. He talks to me in
technical terms about the inner workings of the engines (like I
understand completely). I listen and hear a word or phrase, every
now and then, that I recognize nod or say uh-huh. Sometime, 1 even
ask good questions about something. But if he goes on and on about
a magneto or a cone clutch or something like that, then I break in
and give him two or three technical nursing sentences real fast.
Then we laugh for a while.

He tries to make things easier for me. We recently bought an old
van with a camper conversion in it, so I can be comfortable and use
the potty whenever necessary. Maybe this will mean longer trips on
back roads away from civilization.

Since we have become interested in ‘old iron’ and
tractors, we have met some really nice people. We have NEVER met a
grump. We have been members of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor
Association Branch 13, since October, 1993. These people are like a
family. They are always willing to help. People are always
friendly, like the farmers and tractor owners we meet on our
drives, they have time to look over Donald’s books and albums,
and talk, and talk, and talk.

He enjoys sharing this hobby so much, that he won’t even
read his GEM without me sitting right next to him. We always read
them together and every word of them. This is sharing. He has even
come to me, sitting on the throne, with a picture of a tractor and
his magnifying glass to show me something. This is sharing!

I really enjoy being his ‘secretary’ in this hobby. This
is sharing. Some wives can’t get involved in their
husband’s hobby and this is unfortunate. Some wives won’t
get involved in their husband’s hobby and this in unfortunate.
Many wives do get involved in their husband’s hobby and THIS IS

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