The Day Mom Drove the 8N
by Brian Browning
My Dad was wanting to put in a garden but couldn't operate the 8N and
handle the old horse drawn plow he had found and rigged up to use with
the tractor. Well, he decided to go get Mom out of the house and have
her drive the tractor while he walked behind the plow.
You got to understand that while my Mom is a hard worker who will always help
whenever she can... she had never operated farm machinery before that
day. Dad got her out there, explained how the clutch was the same as in
our old Plymouth, and the gearshift was pretty much the same too.
He got the rig set up for the first furrow and gave Mom a nod to start.
She got to the end of the garden, stopped the tractor and proceeded to
backup at my Dad's signal. All was going great, Dad was walking the plow
backward as Mom backed up the tractor to start the next furrow.
Well I guess this was when it all went wrong. On the way back Mom forgot which
pedal was the clutch and which were the brakes. The tractor was going
this way and that way and Dad was trying to get out of the way and save
the plow at the same time.
At the end of the garden was a wood fence
and Mom and the 8N were headed right for it with Dad between them! Dad
finally realized that he wasn't going to save that plow and jumped out of
the way just before Mom and the tractor made a hole in that fence.
My Dad got himself together enough to run over and turn the ignition switch
off. My brother, who was about 3 years old at the time had witnessed
the whole event. He came out the back door, placed his hands on his
hips and said "What I want to know is who in the #@*? is going to pay
for all this damage?". Well after this comment, my Mom and Dad were
rolling on the ground laughing until they cried with the shattered plow
and broken fence laying all around them.
No one was hurt and the 8N
survived to plow the garden again (without Mom at the controls). This
story remained a secret until someone mentioned the "Tractor Story" at a
family gathering years later.
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