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Not Alone In Restoration

Not Alone In Restoration
I grew up on a farm in east central Iowa. My Dad and uncle farmed about 600 acres, renting land from 5 different people. One of these people was an older gentleman named Alfred. He treated my family well but Dad said he was particular. He farmed his farm for all of his adult life. He had a lot of old farm equipment. The piece of which this story is about is a 1946 B Farmall. After I had left home and started my life as an adult, Dad bought all of his equipment for one price. When my Dad retired, my brother continued to farm and he bought the B for himself. Times were tough for him in the late 80's and eventually had to sell out. For some reason he kept the B. He had a friend that stored it for him in a shed. . . . for a while. After that it was kept outside, for about three years. In 1998 my wife, two boys, and myself bought an acreage. I thought how nice it would be to have a small tractor to mow some of the yard with. After talking with my brother, he thought it was a great idea for him to store the B at my place. All I had to do was go get it. It was only seven miles away but in a snow bank. It took me a half an hour to shovel it out. I hooked onto it with a tow bar and off I went. When I got it home, the first thing I did was to see if it was siezed up. Nope, it turned over just fine. The next thing I did was rebuild the carburator. After I put some gas in an old glass milk jug and cyphoned it down to the carburator, I figured it was time to see if there was any life left in the old girl. I pulled up on the ignition switch, gave it about half throttle, made sure it was in neutral, and walked to the front of her. Grasping a hold of the crank I thought of my Dad and Alfred looking down to see if she'd fire up. I turned the crank two times and it started! It wasn't just running! It sounded like a sewing machine! To be honest with you, I didn't think it would start so easily and it nearly frightened me to death! I can only feel that it wasn't just me in the barn that afternoon. I'll always feel my Dad and Alfred were helping. Since that time I have restored the B and have even been in a couple of parades. Oh by the way, it does a pretty fair job of mowing too!

Rich Barta, from Ia, entered 2002-09-01

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