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My First Tractor

My First Tractor
My wife and I had bought an acreage in a peaceful little farm town just East of Lincoln Nebraska. We planned on building a home there and raising our children. I wanted to keep the land looking nice so I talked with my grandfather and he told me I needed a tractor with a bushhog on it, then I could keep it mowed and the tractor would come in handy later on when we built the home. The land we purchased belonged to our new neighbors. One day while I was out on our property cutting down D***! thistles I noticed the neighbors son go into an old building and open up the doors, then the father backed a pickup up to the building and hooked up a length of chain to his truck and into the building he went. Out he came got into his truck and as the chain became taunt out came a rusty dingy blue and grey tractor with the boy sitting in the seat. They were trying to pull start the tractor, after about 3 attempts of popping the clutch the old tractor shot out some black smoke and came to life. The father then jumped on the tractor and went to work moving dirt and grading the yard, they were doing some landscaping. The old tractor would backfire once in awhile as in protest of being worked but they kept right on moving dirt. So finally when they took a break I went over to chat. I looked the old tractor over, heck I didn't even know what make or model it was, I was totally uneducated in tractors, but I knew granddad said I needed to get one. So I asked my neighbor if he ever thought of selling his tractor. He asked me 'Why would you want to buy this old thing for?' I told him I was looking for a tractor to mow our property with and figured if I could buy this one I could just drive it over to the property and cover it up with a tarp between times I needed to use it. My neighbor said I could borrow it, and I told him I just assume own it, that way if I broke it, well then it was my problem to get it fixed. He said he would think about it. So Summer came and went and it was coming up on fall, when one weekend when I was out working on the land again, my neighbor came over and asked me if I was still interested in buying the tractor. I told him yes, and I had been putting money away in my credit union account. He said he would sell me the Ford 9N for 600 and include the blade. I told him he just sold a tractor and that I would have the money next saturday. I was so tickled. Now when I got home I told my wife I was buying a tractor. She looked at me like I was nuts, 'What for?' she asked then I told her everything my granddad had told me. Well next saturday came and I had the money, and my wife came along to see this tractor. When she saw that rusty, blue and grey looking machine, she said you are paying 600 for that?! I couldn't look her in the eyes, heck I could tell by the tone of her voice she did not approve, but I was still buying this tractor. My neighbor came outside with a big smile on his face and a little book in his hand, he said 'here is the owners manual for her, now get up there and start your tractor', but before I got in the seat I asked him where the title was for the tractor. I thought he was going to laugh himself sick, he told me that tractors this old did not have titles. So he began to show me where to turn on the gasoline, and then showed me the throttle lever and the push button for the starter, which pedals were brakes and which was the clutch. I climbed up in that rusty cold seat and felt like I belonged there. I had seen the son try starting her, and noticed about how far he moved the throttle lever down, so I did the same and then pressed the starter button. The old engine turned very slowly, but did nothing. The neighbor said you may need to choke her alittle, so he showed me the choke, and I proceeded to choke and press the starter button again, this time the tractor did a cough, but still did not start. Then my wife asks 'Won't it even start?', and the neighbor man is standing there with this big grin on his face, and asks me 'Do you want me to get the truck?', my wife 'Truck? why does he need to get the truck?', he tells her 'We always have to pull start this with the truck', my wife 'OH great, you have to pull start this tractor, it won't start unless its pulled?' Well thats when I pushed the starter button and the old girl fired right off, the neighbor man almost jumped when she took off, and then he looked at me and said 'She must like the way your butt fits in her seat'. I had the biggest grin on my face and I took my tractor for a ride around the acreage and then found a nice shade tree to park her under. Since then. . . . . The Old Ford 'Bessy', has been completely overhauled front to back and it was done with love and care in a one car garage. My wifes car sat outside for 6 months so that 'Bessy' could be reconditioned. She has new tires, new paint, new decals, and a nice pad on the seat. She starts without hesitation, and is a full time worker on the acreage, she plows, discs and harrows gardens, she mows pasture, she digs postholes and plows snow in the winter time. Since then I have added and restored several other tractors, but old 'Bessy' is loved by my wife, and my 2 daughters. We use her to pull a hay rack with screaming giggling kids for birthday parties, and put her on display at local tractor shows. She sits in a Shop out of sight until she is needed. I have had several offers to sell her, but I never will. My only regret is my granddad never saw 'Bessy', he had passed away while I was rebuilding her, but I did tell him about her and he would smile and tell me I would never regret getting a tractor for the acreage. My love affair for old tractors started with this little Ford and I have never regretted it for a moment. . . .

Scott Rong, from IA, entered 2003-02-18

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