Tuesday, December 22, 2009

To Eben

Today's blog is dedicated to Eben Quimby, a boy I never met from Albion Maine.

ALBION -- Onlookers watched Monday afternoon as the procession of tractors chugged up Unity Road.

Behind two police cruisers was the lead tractor, driven by 22-year-old Lawrence Quimby.

And behind the tractor, on a hay wagon, was a wooden casket. Inside the casket was his 15-year-old brother, Eben, who died Thursday after a four-year battle with leukemia.

And behind that tractor were 34 more tractors, driven by family, friends and residents from the town's farms. The slow-moving sentinels, some bearing American flags and flowers, shepherded Eben Quimby to his final resting place -- in a cemetery about 31/2 miles away, off Knights Road, where more than 100 people gathered.

One of those tractor drivers, Kirk Shores, said that he and others were there to show support for one of their own.

"Farm families stick together," Shores said.

Eben Quimby's grandfather, Carroll Quimby, said the tractor procession was a fitting way to pay his grandson tribute. Eben was a member of the Maine Antique Tractor Club and loved his Allis Chalmers tractor, a model B, Carroll Quimby said. Family also said he spent most of his time working on the family dairy farm or hunting deer (he got one last month).

"He was a tractor nut," Carroll Quimby said. "Everyone was excited (to see the procession), that's for sure. It was Eben's day."

After the funeral at the Palermo Christian Church, many of Eben's family members joined the afternoon tractor procession with temperatures in the low 20s and a few snowflakes falling from an overcast sky. Eben's family includes his parents Charles L. and Gail N. (Peabody) Quimby, and his two brothers Lawrence and Zachary, and sisters Chelsea and Marsha.
Eben's sister, 19-year-old Chelsea Quimby, said the gathering was "an amazing testimony to our community."

"I know he would have had a grin, cheek to cheek, to see his brother pull him," she said. "There's no other way he'd want things to be done."

Among those who braved cold weather to watch the procession were Penny Bean and her husband and son, who are family friends.

"It's awesome," Bean said. "He would have loved this."

Eben would have also grinned at seeing John Deere tractors.

A man who drove a tractor in the procession said he recalled a time when he walked into the H.L. Keay & Son store and saw Eben -- then 5 or 6 years old -- sitting with his father, Charlie.
"He said to me, 'Hey Pierre, how come you run them John Deere junk?' I said, 'Ever sat in the cabin of the green tractor?' He looked at Charles, who said I sounded full of it, and Eben nodded his head in agreement."

Scott Monroe -- 861-9253

No comments:

Post a Comment