First Best Memories

Making it Count

Well-Known Member
#1
I always enjoy hearing what people did or experienced in an earlier time of life and hold that in high regard. So I will start.


Great Grandpa and the Farm

I couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 years old the first time my mother had me steer the Case tractor while sitting on her lap. I believe we were disking but I couldn’t swear to it. It was my great grandfathers big white Case tractor before they turned into Case IH. Growing up in rural Indiana it was corn and soybean fields that filled my early childhood. My cousins and I would play in the old grain wagons rolling around in the freshly harvested crops or swinging from a rope and dropping into piles of loose straw in the old barn with the large hay loft.

My great grandfather was one of kind. My mom said she wasn’t ticklish because he had tickled it all out of her when she was younger. See, he used what was left of his left hand to tickle all of us cousins as well. When he was much younger he actually had to cut his own hand off to keep from being killed. The story goes, while out harvesting corn by hand and throwing into what I understand it as an old corn picker, somehow the machine grabbed him and would have pulled him in and killed him but he used the large blade he was using to cut down corn stocks to cut off his own left hand just beyond the joint. He then walked nearly an hundred yards to his home to call for help.

It was the perfect tickling tool. He still had the movement of the wrist but only an inch or so past the joint still remained. He was well known for it and his amazing horseshoe throwing. He won many horse shoe tournaments but unfortunately that’s something I never saw him do. He always had chewed cigars laying around in his study. He stopped smoking them well before I was born but found that chewing them was just fine. I am not sure if my great grandma approved of half chewed cigars laying around the house but o well.

It wasn’t but a year or so later grandma passed on and grandpa a few years after that. The farm was sold at auction because my mother and father didn’t have the money to take it over and operate it. I wonder if it’s because I didn’t get to experience more of those times and people that I remember it so fondly. I feel times were simpler back then but what do I know, I was just a kid that enjoyed every minute I can remember of it.
 

milleR

Well-Known Member
#4
When I was a kid my dad would let me ride next to him, sitting on a tool box he’d bolted to the fender of his blue John Deere 401B when he was making hay or mowing. He stood up a 2x4 under it to hold my weight and I remember how sharp the edges and corners felt as we bumped through the fields. The exhaust ran under and out the back and one hot sunny day, when I was 5 or 6 I burned the hell out of my calf climbing on board, letting my left leg swing under and hitting the muffler. It’s a fragmented memory of shock, pain and animal crackers sitting in my swing set with an ice pack and the vitamin E my mom swears by to this day, but I’ve never been careless with an appendage since. As I got older he’d let me steer, and eventually my feet reached the pedals. My dad taught me how to drive on that tractor, and probably a lot more.

It’s funny how tactile things stick with us the most; I remember the sticky throttle, the whine of the power steering pump, the incredibly long throw of the clutch and the odd two shifters that managed the transmission. Fortunately, I don’t have to just remember how it runs since she lives on in our barn, but I have the indelible memories of a little boy with his dad making hay, and those make this silly old tractor priceless to me.

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killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
#5
When I was a kid my dad would let me ride next to him, sitting on a tool box he’d bolted to the fender of his blue John Deere 401B when he was making hay or mowing. He stood up a 2x4 under it to hold my weight and I remember how sharp the edges and corners felt as we bumped through the fields. The exhaust ran under and out the back and one hot sunny day, when I was 5 or 6 I burned the hell out of my calf climbing on board, letting my left leg swing under and hitting the muffler. It’s a fragmented memory of shock, pain and animal crackers sitting in my swing set with an ice pack and the vitamin E my mom swears by to this day, but I’ve never been careless with an appendage since. As I got older he’d let me steer, and eventually my feet reached the pedals. My dad taught me how to drive on that tractor, and probably a lot more.
I had a half-circle burn scar in the center of my right quad for more than a decade from the exhaust on my Dad's XR-250. Learned a lot in that moment.
 

milleR

Well-Known Member
#6
I had a half-circle burn scar in the center of my right quad for more than a decade from the exhaust on my Dad's XR-250. Learned a lot in that moment.
It's kind of funny, but that was only the first time that thing hurt me. We used to have a front end loader on that tractor which had manure tines on it. Maybe 8 or 9 years later I was mowing an orchard with an old brush hog. I had the loader raised up to make the turns a little tighter around the trees when all of a sudden something stung me. Hurt like hell and then I got stung again, and again, and again. Turns out, the manure tines had ripped open the side of a huuuuge paper wasp nest hanging in one of the trees. I must've been stung a dozen times or more before I could get her in high gear and get away. God that hurt.
 

ozziecat35

4 out of 5 great lakes prefer Michigan.
#9
Growing up working on a horse ranch in Northern Michigan I got to drive the old Ford tractor to clear the stables of manure. For a kid who grew up in the suburbs, working the ranch was the best thing that ever happened to me.
 
#10
When I was a child I remember sitting next to my grandmother. She had so many interesting stories from her childhood. I loved to listen to her. We could spend evenings talking. I also remember the sweet smell of apple pie, which was my favorite when visiting her. That was awesome.
 
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