I've been obsessed with tractors since I can remember, my Grandpa had a Case VAC and I thought it was the coolist machine on the planet. It was always a special treat to get to take a spin with Pa on the old Case. This began my obsession and it continued into my teenage years. I would attend the county fair, not for the rides in the midway but for the tractor pull and to also have the chance to sit in the seat of every tractor the local dealer had on display.
My obsession faded through the early part of my adulthood as I found other interests, went to college, got married and had children. Even though I wasn't obsessed in a word as I was earlier in life, I always looked forward to going to the farm to see Grandma and Pa and hoping Pa had some tractor work while I was there. Pa was pretty much my Dad and we were the best of friends. He was a stern, honest, hardworking man who spoke his mind and didn't believe in waste. Therefore there was no such thing as taking a tractor for a spin and using the fuel, there must be a purpose if you're gonna fire it up. Pa always had something I could do, I believe he knew how much I loved getting on one of his three tractors and doing some work. The Case VAC was sold when I was still a young boy during the summer, I watched it leave on a trailer and I cried as it said goodbye for the last time.
The months following the sale of the vAC couldn't have been more exciting. Pa wanted to buy another tractor, one with a wide front end as he had rolled the VAC on two occasions and fortunately was never injured. We looked all over norther Missouri. Every day we went to see someone's tractor they had for sale. Once a month for two months we attended the Mexico Machinary auction. For me that was the best! All these old tractors to touch and sit on. The summer ended and Pa still hadn't found a tractor that suited him.
I remember once again worrying that I would never get a tractor ride again. I was wrong. Grandma and Pa sold their little 10acre hobby farm and purchased 120 acres that included 40 acres of bottom land. Pa went on a tractor buying spree. He purchased and 8N an 860 and a Massey 175 diesel. By this time I was entering my late teenage years and wasn't so interested. I helped out when Pa asked but the passion I had as a child had escaped me.
Pa eventually sold the 8N but still had the 860 and the 175 Massey. My passion eventually came back when my children came along. I wanted them to experience the joy of riding in the tractors as I had as a boy. They love them and it's something we do together. Pa died May 10th 2010, it was a tragic day for me but it was his time. My uncles wanted my Grandma to sell the two remaining tractors but she refused stating that I use them and enjoy them. Not only that but I was the only one that knew how to work on them to keep them going and that Pa would want me to take care of them.
So as of now the 860 is in my shop getting the full service restore. It's been going on now for two years now. I've learned a lot and really enjoy doing it. Pa is buried at a church cemetery about 2 miles down the road from our house. When I get the 860 done I plan to ride it down. I believe he would be proud. I bought a Farmall 460 two years ago as I love the way the inline six sounds. It's in rough shape but was a one owner tractor and I promised the owners son I would take good care of his Dads tractor as he told me some of his tractor stories of he and his Dad and it reminded me of Pa.
Matt, MO, entered 2014-04-09
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