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
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!
Today's Featured Article -
Earthmaster Project Progress Just a little update on my Earthmaster......it's back from the dead! I pulled the head, and soaked the stuck valves with mystery oil overnight, re-installed the head, and bingo, the compression returned. But alas, my carb foiled me again, it would fire a second then flood out. After numerous dead ends for a replacement carb, I went to work fixing mine.I soldered new floats on the float arm, they came from an old motorcycle carb, replaced the packing on the throttle shaft with o-rings, cut new ga
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