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Contributed Article

A City Guy's First Tractor

by Fred Hambrecht

After living in apartments in Atlanta for more years than I care to remember, the wife and I decided to move to the country. Humming "Green Acres is the place for me..." we purchased a 29 acre tract about 60 miles south of Atlanta. Next came the house, I could talk about that ordeal for another two weeks... But, I want to talk about my tractor!

We didn't even own a lawnmower, and all of a sudden we had enough grass to feed all the starving children of the bovine world. Naturally, I talked to the local folks to get some sound advise as to what would be an appropriate solution . The Manchester Georgia version of Mr. Haney told me had just the solution - An old rusty tractor complete with a thing called a bushhog would solve the problem for a mere $7500.00 plus an extra $100.00 if he had to deliver it.

Any of you who have built a home, already know that any contractor worth his salt would never finish the job with that much money left in your bank account. One of the other folks asked me what I did for a living. I sorta mumbled "computers", thinking it was bad enough being a city slicker, now I had to confess to also being a nerd . Well, it turns out that he had a brother-in- law that needed a computer and he would probably trade one of his old tractors for one of them Pentiums.

Removing my pocket protector and putting on a straw hat (I never said I wasn't a fast learner) I headed to the brother-in-laws farm. "I been wanting one of those Pentium computers so I could get on the internet and stuff", he stated. I soon assured him that I was his man. An expert in all those nerdy things needed to get him computing, if only he could see his way clear to help me solve my grass problem. "Follow me" he said as we walked to the back of an old outbuilding. He moved some cement blocks holding down an old tarp and uncovered my second love. (The first being the lady mentioned above who has resided with me for the last 38 years).

Under that tarp was a tractor, and with the same blinded vision that caused us to think our first car, a 1939 Buick was beautiful, we saw this toy of toys. It was a John Deere Model MT! Wow! Wait until my wife see's what a good deal I got. This fantastic tractor for a mere computer and all accessories. The previous owner scrounged through the barn for a battery and some gas and within an hour that puppy was running! We loaded it on a trailer along with a scrap blade and several piles of stuff which we were assured was a cultivator and a planter. And best of all one of those bushhog things!

Arriving at the house, I was like a kid at Christmas! "HeylookatwhatIgot" I shouted to the wife. Being the same as wives the world over, she offered her immediate critique. " What is it? It needs paint and the termites have eaten the seat, and what are you going to do with all that rusty stuff by the fence?" In spite of all her good traits, I know after 38 years she simply lacks the vision and imagination to truly appreciate a mechanical marvel of such proportions. The previous owner sizing up the situation and probably fearing he would have to return home with said tractor in tow, beat a hasty retreat to his pickup. I heard him exclaim err he drove out of site "You won't have any trouble figuring it out". Indeed I wouldn't! I leaped to the seat, pulled on the ignition and tugged at the starter.... Duga duga dugga... I was a John Deere Owner!

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