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Submitted Article
Some People Like Red
By Art Willis

I was smitten, as a little boy, by red tractors. I used to play in the coastal sand of my Dad & Mom's home with little red tractors, trucks and cars. I grew up believing that like fire trucks, ALL tractors are supposed to be red! Today, the only way I would drive a John Deere is if someone would paint it RED!

Driving a Tractor for the first time - About 19 years ago, when my wife Donna and I moved to what was the country then, I was given access to a large Farmall tractor by a widow so that I could plow garden space for her, her sister-in-law and a large space for us. Well, that did it for me! The tractor fire was rekindled.

Finding a Rural Home - When we looked for a house of our own, I was taken with our present location because it had a big red barn. After looking at the place, I sat on the bed, in our upstairs apartment, with a pad of paper and drew a picture of how I thought our new home should look I sketched in a 3-board white fence, several fruit trees and a red tractor in the center bay of the barn.

Making Room - In 94, we tore down the big red barn (which was built in 1930-- was written on the inside of a sheathing board) and I designed a new building, based on the exact dimensions of the old barn. We needed a storage room on the first floor of the building so I accommodated that by shortening the middle garage bay which is just long enough to house.. a red tractor.

At last, a Red Tractor - In February, 2000, after searching the Farm Equipment ads, Donna and I drove to Middlesex, NC on our way to the beach cottage to "look" at a Farmall tractor. The tractor delivered the following Saturday.

The tractor is a confirmed 1953 Farmall Super A-1 with hydraulic lift. I purchased, as a package, cultivators, row busters, and disks. A seeder was mounted on the machine when delivered.

Restoring the tractor - A Christian friend, Larry Pope, was a mechanic in the Air Force and loves to putter with machinery. When he found out that I wanted to completely restore the tractor, He volunteered his services. We are about 75% complete with the restoration.

Getting a truck to pull the tractor - This coming September, God Willing, I would like to enter the tractor in competition at a show in Silk Hope, near Siler City, NC. To do that, we needed a truck to pull the tractor along with a 16.5 ft. flat-bed trailer.

In december we helped a fellow out by taking up payments on a 2000 Ford 150 XLT with 2 full doors and 2 half doors, a Triton V-8 Gas-Suckin engine and a pulling package. Yes, its fire engine red!

Looking for a trailer - Now I'm looking for a nice trailer with fenders so we can paint them red to match the package! The tractor weighs 3800 lbs. so it doesn't have to be a heavy-weight trailer.

I recently saw an ad for a tractor identical to ours, completely restored for $9500! So that encouraged me that the tractor can be sold for a nice profit later on.

Working our egg business - Donna is a super sales person so I have to encourage the "girls" to step up production from time to time. I plan to double the flock this year, again Lord Willing so we can produce about 4 to 5 doz per day. With our new church building, the word will travel faster now that the congregations are meeting in one place so we must be prepared.

At $1 per doz. we are lower than the grocery stores and our "free-range, grain-fed" chickens produce brown eggs that are higher in quality, so we're told by our customers. We about break even on sales.

The egg money pays for our new shed and things seem to work out pretty even-stephen By the way, the chickens are... you guessed it! Rhode Island Reds!

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