Sunday, June 19, 2011
Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there and especially to my dad! I will get down to talk to you soon, dad.
I had a good Father's Day last night at the Wilmington tractor pull with Matt and Corbin. The pull was boring, poorly run but we had fun just talking. Pulls are great social events for farmers and non farmers and wanna be farmers. I got to talk to a lot of good people I haven't seen in awhile and some old farming and pulling stories came up.
One of my favorites was in the mid 70's when I was chasing the Ohio State Tractor Puller's points race like many were doing in Wilmington last night. I won the 5,000 pound and 7,000 pound stock classes with my famous Oliver 88, each class by inches. While I was racing up the track because the track was uphill at Stockdale, Ohio, I caught a glimpse of my dad smiling at me and there was my little mother standing beside him! I think that may have been the only time they ever watched me pull.
I won the most money I ever won, $225 for each class which was a record for my class in those days and everybody was there to get it. My experience of plowing with dad's Super 77 and mounted 3 bottom plow gave me the advantage in balancing my weight and power and traction.
Not too many years after that it cost more to haul the tractor to the pull and home than you could win at the pull so I lost interest. I never lost heart, I just lost interest since the kids were little and needed me more than the pull did. I still plan for my 12,000 pound farm stock tractor in the back of my mind and there is a Case tractor sitting in front of a barn just down the road that has been sitting there for years with "my name on it."
I would rather pull an Oliver or Moline but that would be very expensive to build for that class, red would be next but it costs so much to build the cubic inches it takes to compete in that class. The Case has the big 504, pump and injectors that would be needed, just like Chevy is to racing.
Oh well, I am just grateful to be alive to and be a dad and granddad today.
That's good enough for today and something so many wish they had.
"When God created fathers,
He made them proud and wise...
He put the light of truth
and understanding in their eyes.
He formed them in His image,
hearts, faithful, smiles bright,
their skin a shade of evening,
as it passes into night.
He gave them sturdy arms,
for lifting children in the air,
and knees that were afraid to bend,
in work or play or prayer.
He planned them with a passion
for the role of fatherhood...
and when the Lord had finished,
He was sure that it was good.