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|Keeping It in the Family|
I grew up close to my grandfather's farm and spent most of my youth there helping him. I learned to drive at the age of six or so on the Farmall 'A' and we used it (in addition to an 'H' and an 'M') for so many chores. When my grandfather died, the 'A' passed on to my uncle (my mother's brother) and I lost touch with it for many years. Uncle George didn't use it for farming, just utility stuff. Then, last year, he died and his family had no interest in keeping it so it was put up for sale in an auction of general items from his estate. Word got out and on the day of the sale, there were several collectors there interested in the tractor. One guy mentioned that he already owned over twenty of this very model!
I told Mom that it was a shame that the tractor wasn't staying in the family and she agreed, but Dad interjected that we didn't need another tractor (he already had two and I had two) and he didn't have any extra money to put into unnecessary equipment. My cousins obviously had no interest so I dropped the subject and resigned myself to the fact that it was going to disappear.
Right then a car got stuck in soft ground out where they were parking for the sale and one of the sales people fired up the old 'A' to go and pull it out. When she heard the engine running, my mother burst into tears and cried, 'that's my daddy's tractor!' I realized that it had way more sentimental value for her and me than I originally admitted and started thinking about how to keep it in the family. Finally, I told her that I would go in halves with her if she wanted to bid on it. She immediately smiled and nodded, 'yes, that's what we'll do. ' Well, when the auctioneer got to the tractor, she got into the bidding and it quickly went up to about 700 or 800. In the meantime, word got around in the crowd that Mom was bidding to keep it in the family and the collectors and everyone else dropped out by the time it got to 900. God bless those people for their compassion in place of greed!
So that's how my grandfather's Farmall A stayed in the family. My cousins were not pleased with the low price but I don't care because they were only interested in the money. Now, whenever I get a chance, I spend a little time working on it, fixing it up, and thinking maybe Granddad is looking over my shoulder with a big smile.
Glenn, VA, entered 2000-09-13
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