"My Life" - By M. Farmall|
A Tractor's Point of View
by John Manley
I began my life on August 3,1941. I was actually built at different times and days but I was officially an M Farmall on August 3.I was real nice and shiny. Thatís me, in the old picture, third from the left. I was loaded on that train and sent to a little town in South Carolina. I didnít get to see much of that town. I was moved off the train fast and on to the dealerís lot.
I sat on the lot for about 6 months or so. Many farmers looked at me, but none were interested in such a large tractor. They wanted my little cousin H.I saw many of those come and go, each with his own dreams. But still I sat, although I would get started occasionally to show a farmer or two how smooth I ran and easy I could start.
I was started on day to show a farmer and his young son how good of a tractor I was. The dealer did his usual speech and they even drove me around the lot a few times. They talked some more and went inside. Well, a few minutes later, the guys in the blue overalls loaded me on the truck that I had seen so many Hs leave on. I was a little nervous, but once I was loaded and on my way I was over that. I was so excited to go to work I paid no attention to the truck cussing me for everything I was worth because I was much heavier than what he had become used to.
Finally we arrived at the farm. As I was being unloaded, I looked out across the farmyard and the fields and dreamed of the day when the farmer would drive me out across those fields, but I was out straight in the barn. BUMMER! I spent the night next to an old two-bottom plow and a hay wagon. They told me stories of how the farmer attached them to another tractor and pulled them around. I got a little nervous so I went to sleep.
Well the next morning came and the big door on the barn slid open. The farmer must have wanted to get an early start because he was yawning a lot I wasnít running yet but the farmer pulled on that crank thing and boy was I running. He drove down to this place called a gas station. There he showed me off to his friends and filled my gas tank up. Again he pulled the crank thing and back to the farm we went. Man that was fun having all of those farmers look and stare at me. I think I made an old Deere jealous, hee hee!
We got back to the farm and farmer hooked me to the hay wagon. We headed out to the field. I remember there was a funny looking machine out there and these big piles of hay. The machine would take that pile of hay and make little squares out of it. Man that was neat! When the machine finished making the squares, the men there put them on hay wagon and Farmer drove me back up to the barn and he and a couple of big guys would unload the trailer. After several trips I was getting tired, but I never stopped going. I wanted Farmer to be proud of me. After a few days of doing that, I was getting use to running. I wasnít getting as tired as before and I have to admit it felt good.
Many months went by and occasionally Farmer would pull me out to do some odd chore or help plow a field or plant seed. It was good, honest work. I think my favorite thing was wearing "CUL-TI-VAT-ORS". I looked good in them, if I do say so myself.
All of this went on for many years. I'd break down and Farmer would fix me. He always took care of me. He changed my fluids regularly, grease me up in the right places and even give me a bath once in a while. I had the honor of pulling Hay Wagon in the Christmas parade each year. That was fun but I was getting real tired of the same thing each year. I never gave up mind you, I was just getting tired.
One nice spring afternoon I was setting outside enjoying the weather when a new tractor was delivered to the farm. It made me mad. How dare that farmer go get a new tractor after all I had done for him over the years. I was so mad that when he went to park me beside that NEW tractor in the barn, I threw a rod cap right through the oil pan! Farmer just snickered and saidĒ Glad you waited till the new tractor arrived!Ē It hurt and I felt bad about what I had done but doggone it, I WAS MAD!
I was pulled out by the new tractor and set behind the barn to rust away. I sat there for years. Farmer would come over every now and then and take a part off of me and sell to a neighbor. My mag was gone and there was no way to sit on my back, and worst of all my hood was gone! My tires were flat. The birds and squirrels and rats made a home out of me. It felt bad. I couldnít see what was happening around the farm, but I could hear the new equipment laughing at me and making fun of my age. It really hurt. I went to sleep for what I thought would be the last time.
A New Beginning
Huh! Whatís this? I feel strange! Itís all fuzzy. HEY! WHAT? WHATS THAT? WHO IS THAT? WHAT DID HE SAY? Whatís a starter? And a battery? Hey, my pistons arenít stuck! And that old gunk in my back is gone! I have a few new bearing in there too. Whatís going on? NO, NO WAIT!!!!
Whew! That scared me! Hey, who's that guy? He looks familiar but different. Hey I can see pretty good now! Whatís that guy doing with that gas can? Heís pouring it in me! WOW! WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, WHOA! HEY IM RUNNING AQGAIN! Not quite right yet! AHH! Thatís much better. Wonder why my engine turned so fast? Must be that starter thing. Hey! NO! NO! Don't shut me off!
Hey whets this stuff! Kind of stinks! Reminds me of that stuff back at the factory they called paint! Oh man! I'm getting a new paint job! FARMER must have sold the new tractor and is putting me back to work. No, can't be! Iím too old for that. Hey who is that guy? Looks like Farmers son, but older. WHOA, WHOA! Whets he doing with me? I'M MOVIMG! MY TIRES ARE NEW AND THEY ARENT FLAT! Iím going on a trailer.
Gee, what a nice place here! I wonder why heís moving me on a trailer? Where are we going?
Oh, WOW! Look at these big tall barns! I wonder why have to stop at those red lights and go when they turn green. This must be the city. Wait, we're leaving the city. What's that up there? Hey a big field! No, there are a lot of other tractors there. "HEY, HOW YALL DOIN'?" Gee this is fun! Nice to meet all of these other old tractors. Humph, that looks like that old Deere I made jealous all of those years ago. Wait. Is that? Yes it is! Thatís that two bottom plow I spent many nights beside in the barn. "HEY TWO BOTTOM! LOOKING GOOD MAN!"
Iím coming off of the trailer. This is fun! I'm feeling good today! All of these folks staring at me! I'm having a blast! Why did we stop? Where's he going? What is he saying to that man?
"Well it was Daddy's. I had forgotten all about it until I went back to the farm when Daddy died. He sure did love that old gal. I guess I do too!"
Thanks to Tom Hall and Kim Pratt for the pics.
In Memory of my father, James Manley
I miss you Daddy
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