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Contributed Article

The Day Mom Drove the 8N
by Brian Browning

My Dad was wanting to put in a garden but couldn't operate the 8N and handle the old horse drawn plow he had found and rigged up to use with the tractor. Well, he decided to go get Mom out of the house and have her drive the tractor while he walked behind the plow.

You got to understand that while my Mom is a hard worker who will always help whenever she can... she had never operated farm machinery before that day. Dad got her out there, explained how the clutch was the same as in our old Plymouth, and the gearshift was pretty much the same too.

He got the rig set up for the first furrow and gave Mom a nod to start. She got to the end of the garden, stopped the tractor and proceeded to backup at my Dad's signal. All was going great, Dad was walking the plow backward as Mom backed up the tractor to start the next furrow.

Well I guess this was when it all went wrong. On the way back Mom forgot which pedal was the clutch and which were the brakes. The tractor was going this way and that way and Dad was trying to get out of the way and save the plow at the same time.

At the end of the garden was a wood fence and Mom and the 8N were headed right for it with Dad between them! Dad finally realized that he wasn't going to save that plow and jumped out of the way just before Mom and the tractor made a hole in that fence.

My Dad got himself together enough to run over and turn the ignition switch off. My brother, who was about 3 years old at the time had witnessed the whole event. He came out the back door, placed his hands on his hips and said "What I want to know is who in the #@*? is going to pay for all this damage?". Well after this comment, my Mom and Dad were rolling on the ground laughing until they cried with the shattered plow and broken fence laying all around them.

No one was hurt and the 8N survived to plow the garden again (without Mom at the controls). This story remained a secret until someone mentioned the "Tractor Story" at a family gathering years later.

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