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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Everyone's got a blog, an old tractor or truck out back – or all of the above

     My wife tells me that everyone has a blog, and since there are only so many hours in the day, I shouldn't expect all of civilization, or at least what's left of it, to read mine.

    That, my friends, is one tough pill to swallow. But I haven't yet resorted to photos of scantily clad women, babies or fluffy little dogs to entice people to follow The Magic Commute. But I do figure a photo of a tractor, truck or old car every now and then will in no way compromise my dignity or make it appear that I'm groveling for readership, which of course I am.
     I heard someone mention this week that they knew a farmer who has every tractor he's ever owned out in the pasture. You can imagine all the memories attached to each one – the crops harvested, hours spent in the sun (once-upon-a-time tractors had awnings, if any cover at all, and no air-conditioning), the chemicals and toxic fumes inhaled. Actually, they couldn't smell any worse than when farmers walked behind mules and horses, now can they?
     Some vehicles get parked – the pole truck pictured below may be an example – with the owner's best intentions of rebuilding the engine, overhauling the transmission or slapping a new set of tires on it. Maybe Junior, the future farmer who becomes an accountant, will drive it someday.

     The key word is "someday". Sometimes it happens; most of the time it doesn't. The trucks become scenery, which I certainly appreciate even if the local codes officer considers them an unbearable nuisance.
     I have to think a vehicle parked out back is a whole lot better than a discarded stove, dishwasher or velour couch on the front porch. You have to have standards, you know?

     It wasn't too long ago that I interviewed a young demolition derby driver whose grandfather helped him get his '77 Chevy Impala started and ready to play big-boy bumper cars. The car had been his mother's and then his aunt's, and then it sat for a while, only to find new purpose later in life. Talk about late bloomers.

     These things happen all the time, but they never have a chance if a property's all spiffyed up and the old vehicle's hauled off as scrap iron. Plus, it disturbs the natural order of nature. Where would snakes sleep were there are no old Farmalls, International Harvesters or Deeres parked in the pasture?


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