No, I haven’t taken up race car driving…. Not that I would be too bad. OK, I would stink at it but it reminded me of a story….
Most everybody, if you ask, will tell you that John Deere is the only tractor made. Well, maybe a little exaggerated, but you get the drift. My Grandma Moe however had a Farmall. He was very proud of his tractor built by International Harvester. (More about that later!). Grandpa Moe was a kind man. He thought he would give me a driving lesson, I was 7. Those of you who have ridden with me behind the wheel know, this idea was a little ill conceived.
I remember the seat jumping up and down, on some kind of a spring or shock absorber. I was having a great time bouncing up and down on the seat, steering the tractor. Grandpa was laughing and managed to say “Don’t hit the brooder house!” OK, steering away from the broader house. Well, that put the yard light right in my path. I am still having fun bouncing and just turning the steering wheel, I should have known that when Grandpa Moe stopped laughing that something was amiss.
It was amiss. I was going to miss the broader house but I was headed straight for the yard light. I don’t know how many people know that the yard light is a farm icon (almost).
Along with that big gas tank that dotted farm houses from the 30’s all the way up to the 70’s. Once gas became scarce. People stopped filling them because it just seemed that it would just disappear. But I digress. With the yard light fixed tightly in sights, and me bouncing so that Grandpa couldn’t get a grip on the steering wheel. We were headed for a disaster! (No, my driving hasn’t improved all that much!) Finally Grandpa Moe literally grabbed the steering wheel. He managed to avoid the broader house and the yard light. Amazing how he did that, just like he knew what he was doing!
I couldn’t wait to tell my Dad and Mom about me driving! I was so proud. I drove the Farmall!! Then Grandpa came in… He said yes, I had driven the tractor. Dad figured out that my driving lesson was not quite the success that I made it out to be by the ashy color of Grandpa Moe’s face.
I never got another driving lesson on the tractor, I wonder why?