Memories of a Farmall C
by Monty Bradley
When I was a child, my grandparents lived on a farm owned by a Mr.
Walters. The crops raised were cotton and soybeans, with about forty
head of mixed breed cattle. Mr. Walters owned two tractors then. A Farmall 300
on gasoline and a Farmall C, that had once belonged to his
father-in-law, and had been converted from gasoline to LP Gas.
Many times, as a small boy, I would cross the fence behind the house my
grandparents lived in and walk down the turn row to where granddaddy
would be cultivating cotton with the little C. I'd stand at the end of
the rows, holding a fruit jar full of ice water,and wait for him to
reach the end. As he got close, I'd wave to make sure he saw me; as if a
nine year-old was not pretty obvious standing at the end of a field of
When granddaddy reached the end he would come to a stop on the turn row.
He'd turn off the engine of the C and I'd walk up and hand him the jar
of water. He'd always make a big thing out of me being a "big boy" and
bringing the water "down in the field" to him, though I was less than
100 yards from the house. Granddaddy was never without his thermos
bottle of coffee and while he drank a cup, I would walk around and pull
off any grass that wrapped around the plow points and knock off the dirt
that had accumalated on each one. By the time I got through with that
important job he was finished with his coffee, and after bragging on my
ability to clean off a plow point, he'd start the tractor and continue
plowing. I'd head back home with the empty fruit jar and water bottle.
Granddaddy soon retired and he and grandmama moved a few miles away but
I'd go back to Mr. Walters' house often because his son and I were the
same age and had grown up together as best friends and played together
often. The Farmall C would always be under the shed. One evening we were
under the shed burning a piece of wood with a small hand torch. Laying
that scorched wood down on a lumber pile near the C we left for other
adventures. Later, Mr. Walters walked out of the house and saw smoke
coming from the shed. Upon hurried investigation, he found the pile of
lumber burning, as well as one rear tire of the C. He quickly got the
fire out, but I remember him saying that our playing with fire had cost
him 90 dollars. The price of a new rear tire!
As a teen-ager, I often worked for Mr. Walters just as my grandfather
had. And yes, I got to drive the Farmall C. It had been semi-retired by
this time and was only used to do light duty, such as, mowing the
pasture, or plowing the pea patch. How I loved that old tractor as I sat
on the same seat that my old granddaddy had sat on a few years before
That's been many years ago now. Granddaddy's gone. He and grandmama.
Buried only a couple of miles from the fields he once plowed so often.
Mr. Walters is in a rest home. Doesn't recognize anyone anymore. But
that little Farmall C is still sitting patiently under the same shed
it's used for forty years. I occasionally go by and check on it. An old
friend. I close my eyes as I stand near it, breathing it's familiar
odors and I can still see granddaddy steering it down those cotton rows.
It seems to say to me, 'let's go mow that pasture one more time'. Alas,
that pasture is gone now; plowed up and planted to corn by 'hundred and
fifty horse power tractors. Descendants of this little Farmall C. As I
turn to go, I look back. Be patient a little longer Ole Buddy, someday
soon you may belong to me. And I got a pasture that's just the right
size for me and you to mow.
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