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The Wave,

The Wave,
Most of the farmers hereabouts lived right on their own place when I was a kid. Except one, Gus had a low wet yard, and he and wife had moved to town some years ago. Said it wasn't the healthiest place to live way out there near the river. Actually water would appear in deep ruts in the yard overnight, even when it wasn't raining. So he became a commuter farmer. The thing is, he didn't have a pickup truck. He drove an old green Ford F-600, the five miles out to his place every day, to do chores, and to work his 250 acres. He would be on the highway when I was driving to highschool, and later when I worked in town myself. And every time, morning or evening, there would be a friendly wave. Even later when I knew his eyesight was getting pretty bad. Not unusual to get a wave out here, but he never failed to lift his hand from the wheel. Later, I heard he was down with a heart condition. And before I knew it he was gone, and his wife followed him pretty quickly. His farm sat, growed up to weeds. He and his wife never raised any kids. So the place was up in the air for a few years. Finally a relative sold off the still usable machinery. I took a peek one day, after getting permission to look around. The truck was still in the shed, engine in the F-600 was froze up, tires flat, and was in worse shape than I wanted to tackle. I tripped and fell over more than one piece of early equipment half buried in the grass and tall weeds. I found a good wagon I could use, and a couple of more pieces. Caught heck when I brought more stuff into my yard, but told the wife there is one more thing waiting there for me. I found JohnDeere A, half buried next to a chicken house. It had fell off its blocks, set there because the wheels had been used on his other tractors. No bullet holes, and just a few pieces missing besides the wheels. Ever jack up a fairly heavy piece from the ground, in soft soil, with mosquitos swarming around? Let me tell you I worked for that old piece of green iron. I did get it home, engine stuck bad, but its soaking right now. The place it was on, is all bulldozed and buried now, the truck is behind a guys shed in town, maybe it will run some day. But I've got this JohnDeere A, I'll have it running, and as long as I can, it'll be reminder of that old farmer that was never too tired to lift his hand from the wheel in greeting. nuff said.

John , from Ne, entered 2003-08-10

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