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Memories of a Farmall C
When I was a child, my grandparents lived on a farm owned by a Mr. Walters. The crops raised were cotton and soybeans, with about forty head of mixed breed cattle. Mr. Walters owned two tractors then. A Farmall 300 on gasoline and a Farmall C, that had once belonged to his father-in-law, and had been converted from gasoline to LP Gas.
Many times, as a small boy, I would cross the fence behind the house my grandparents lived in and walk down the turn row to where granddaddy would be cultivating cotton with the little C. I'd stand at the end of the rows, holding a fruit jar full of ice water,and wait for him to reach the end. As he got close, I'd wave to make sure he saw me; as if a nine year-old was not pretty obvious standing at the end of a field of knee-high cotton!
When granddaddy reached the end he would come to a stop on the turn row. He'd turn off the engine of the C and I'd walk up and hand him the jar of water. He'd always make a big thing out of me being a "big boy" and bringing the water "down in the field" to him, though I was less than 100 yards from the house. Granddaddy was never without his thermos bottle of coffee and while he drank a cup, I would walk around and pull off any grass that wrapped around the plow points and knock off the dirt that had accumalated on each one. By the time I got through with that important job he was finished with his coffee, and after bragging on my ability to clean off a plow point, he'd start the tractor and continue plowing. I'd head back home with the empty fruit jar and water bottle.
Granddaddy soon retired and he and grandmama moved a few miles away but I'd go back to Mr. Walters' house often because his son and I were the same age and had grown up together as best friends and played together often. The Farmall C would always be under the shed. One evening we were under the shed burning a piece of wood with a small hand torch. Laying that scorched wood down on a lumber pile near the C we left for other adventures. Later, Mr. Walters walked out of the house and saw smoke coming from the shed. Upon hurried investigation, he found the pile of lumber burning, as well as one rear tire of the C. He quickly got the fire out, but I remember him saying that our playing with fire had cost him 90 dollars. The price of a new rear tire!
As a teen-ager, I often worked for Mr. Walters just as my grandfather had. And yes, I got to drive the Farmall C. It had been semi-retired by this time and was only used to do light duty, such as, mowing the pasture, or plowing the pea patch. How I loved that old tractor as I sat on the same seat that my old granddaddy had sat on a few years before then.
That's been many years ago now. Granddaddy's gone. He and grandmama. Buried only a couple of miles from the fields he once plowed so often. Mr. Walters is in a rest home. Doesn't recognize anyone anymore. But that little Farmall C is still sitting patiently under the same shed it's used for forty years. I occasionally go by and check on it. An old friend. I close my eyes as I stand near it, breathing it's familiar odors and I can still see granddaddy steering it down those cotton rows. It seems to say to me, 'let's go mow that pasture one more time'. Alas, that pasture is gone now; plowed up and planted to corn by 'hundred and fifty horse power tractors. Descendants of this little Farmall C. As I turn to go, I look back. Be patient a little longer Ole Buddy, someday soon you may belong to me. And I got a pasture that's just the right size for me and you to mow.