The ol’ Farmall 100

About the time that I was born, my Dad bought himself a Farmall 100.  He cultivated and fertilized our three-acre field with it all of my growing up life.  One of my earliest memories is of looking up from my play to watch Dad rumbling past the opening in the trees that separated the yard from the field.

It was the first tractor I ever drove.  I was about eight years old.  I balanced myself on the cultivator attachment bars on the back as my big brother Willy drove us out to the field.  Then he put the Farmall in neutral while we switched places.

“Make sure you let the clutch out sloooowly,” he said.

His pre-drive directives dragged on for so long after that command that by the time he actually allowed me to drive, I’d forgotten it.  When he said “Go”, I promptly released the clutch and gravity released the front wheels.  The grill tipped skyward and Willy bellowed “WHOA!!” as he clutched the fenders for dear life.  Thankfully, the front end came back down, and I can still hear Willy’s laughter ringing in my ears as we roared off down the field.

Albert driving the farmall past my front garden.

About six years ago, Mom and Dad sold the farm and bequeathed the Farmall to Albert and me.  At some point, Dad had put calcium in the tires for added weight so that he could navigate the heavy clay soil that made up our field back home, but the calcium was corroding the tires and rims, so Albert has replaced three tires so far.  He has also put on a new muffler and steering wheel.  He’s rebuilt the head of the motor and replaced the rings, bearings and head gasket.

Next, he plans to replace the fourth tire, fix the hood, put new chains in the fertilizer hopper side-mount and give the whole tractor a brand new Farmall-red paint job.

You can imagine what seeing such loving devotion paid to my family heirloom means to me.  Thanks to Albert, she’ll be tending the fields for many years to come.

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