Monday, March 23, 2009

Special Day @ Deere

I don't have to write a blog today, Loran Steinlage already wrote it for me. His boy popcorn AKA as Rolan is 12 and fighting a cancerous pineoblastoma.

One of their many friends lined up a tour for Rolan and his dad at Waterloo, Iowa today. His story is one of the best I have read!

"Sorry for being late with the update today...

We just got back from our tour of the John Deere Waterloo assembly.

Rolan was getting very excited as we neared asking how far was the next town and then the on after that,and the one after that........It's only 45 miles total and if needed I can get there without towns, yes I know I mean..we took the long way.

We had no idea as to what to expect upon arrival...CA had lined the whole thing up and we just had a phone call confirming our tour,as we left the hospital a few weeks ago. I did gather that CA was behind it from the gal that had called. I knew in a previous conversation with CA I'd told him Rolan's first response when he heard he's elgiable for Make-a-wish was to do a Gold Key tour (we did 1 in 2000 when we bought a new tractor). At the time I told Rolan we'd see what we could do and use his 'wish' on something we'd never be able to help attain.

Upon arrivial this morning we're greeted by several front office workers and heads of departments and they presented numerous special items...Rolans eyes just kept getting bigger and bigger. I don't think we'll wipe that smile off for a good long time.

Once we started our tour several times along the way people stopped and offered Rolan some personal gifts and my hightlight was when a forklift driver stopped and offered Rolan his CreditCard and said to go to the JD Store when we're done and buy anything he wanted(he got a 4020 with loader). That one wrenched big old grumpy dads heart a tad.

The tour went along great till Rolan got a wiff of food...Then the guide said that's your dinner,enroute we met the plant manager and several other department heads. After Dinner Tom had lined up to go see an 8430T roll of the line(the end of the 8000's line is severly restricted right now as they're in transition getting a new paint line operational)

We took some pictures by the track tractor, and then a guy walked over and said Rolan hop in you get to go with for the test ride....I think his smile about popped off his face.

Upon return to the lobby the hospitality kept flowing as Rolan was presented a GOLD KEY of his very own, then if that wasn't enough CA told the story of 4 farmers that had stopped at his farm on their way home from a Gold Key tour of the Sprayer plant in Ankeny...They signed their key and left it for Rolan..

Turns out I've hauled hay to one many a time and another was my Mom's neighbor growing up...I will have to look them up some day to see if they made the connection. All 4 are from the Lawler area.

A big thanks to everyone involved that made this day special for Rolan and next time you see a Deere tractor go think about the fine people that make them, Thank you very much Charlie

For those of you that like to rib about green paint I got the official company line as to why Deere's are Green and yellow (Rolan told the guide it was so they could hide in the weeds)

Green represents the spring cropping season

Yellow represents the fall crops and harvest

And we also heard that if one doesn't start as it rolls of the line........

They send that one to the red paint booth *GRIN*"

Since I can't top this story I had to put it here. Rolan and Loran and Brenda and the girls have been through a lot this winter with much more to go. I don't see how Loran is going to farm with all of this but he has great neighbors and friends. Rolan has been on my prayer list for a long time now it seems, yet it seems like yesterday.

If you have room for Rolan and his family and people like them in your prayers, offer them up, please. We got to meet them in Nevada Iowa after the Farm Progress Show last August and they are great people. We never would have dreamed we would be here doing this today and I know they didn't either. Make-A-Wish and CarePages are special.

You can catch Loran and our friends on NAT but obviously Loran isn't posting much these days. You can read about Rolan on his Care Page.

Ed Winkle

Ed Winkle

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