First Best Memories

Making it Count

Well-Known Member
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
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
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
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.
 

milleR

Well-Known Member
I really like that you have the tractor now and posted a picture. You don’t see a lot of blue John Deere’s.
Back in the 70's, Baltimore County switched from buying JD to Ford. So, in the interest of uniformity, they painted all the JD's blue.
 

ozziecat35

4 out of 5 great lakes prefer Michigan.
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.
 

Bonny

New Member
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.
 

IndianaPilot

Well-Known Member
Very good topic for a thread.........very sadly my Dad passed away unexpectedly at his house last month, so with that said most of my fondest memories growing up were with him. We were always very close, and every weekend would be out and about doing something.......bumming around Chicago, watching planes at Midway or O'Hare ( so my interest in aviation is rooted with him), movies, food, you name it. I'd help him with projects, and go on side jobs with him from as early as I can remember. As I got older, and after high school, we would take trips all over.......NYC, LA, DC, Gettysburg, to name a few. It's like a huge part of my life is missing now.....however, there are so many good memories from early childhood until now, that I have no regrets and we had no unfinished business....and no sense of "should have, could have, would have". He was always very supportive of everything I did in life, and aviation was no different. When I got my private, I took him up for a local flight.......and our conversation turned to him and I eating lunch sitting by the airport fence when I was little. When we passed over that same fence landing, I could see that he almost had tears in his eyes......was an awesome moment ! He always said he couldn't wait to be a passenger on a commercial flight with me up front.....unfortunately now that will never be reality.....but as I continue to pursue this career change, if and when I make it to that point, he will for sure be on my mind and be there in spirit ! So.....in short, to answer the topic of the thread.......fondest memories in life were always the great times with Dad
 

Bob Ridpath

Pit Bull love
Very good topic for a thread.........very sadly my Dad passed away unexpectedly at his house last month, so with that said most of my fondest memories growing up were with him. We were always very close, and every weekend would be out and about doing something.......bumming around Chicago, watching planes at Midway or O'Hare ( so my interest in aviation is rooted with him), movies, food, you name it. I'd help him with projects, and go on side jobs with him from as early as I can remember. As I got older, and after high school, we would take trips all over.......NYC, LA, DC, Gettysburg, to name a few. It's like a huge part of my life is missing now.....however, there are so many good memories from early childhood until now, that I have no regrets and we had no unfinished business....and no sense of "should have, could have, would have". He was always very supportive of everything I did in life, and aviation was no different. When I got my private, I took him up for a local flight.......and our conversation turned to him and I eating lunch sitting by the airport fence when I was little. When we passed over that same fence landing, I could see that he almost had tears in his eyes......was an awesome moment ! He always said he couldn't wait to be a passenger on a commercial flight with me up front.....unfortunately now that will never be reality.....but as I continue to pursue this career change, if and when I make it to that point, he will for sure be on my mind and be there in spirit ! So.....in short, to answer the topic of the thread.......fondest memories in life were always the great times with Dad
Deepest condolences for you and those who loved him. May the memories assuage, to a degree, your sense of loss. Walk into your future as the man he was, adding your own unique ways to matter to those who share your life.

Blessings, and Merry Christmas.
 
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