By Mike Redmond
The Hendricks County Flyer
Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:10 PM EST
I admit it. I buy things on impulse. I seldom go through a grocery checkout without picking up a Kit Kat bar or a pack of Doublemint, and I once came home from a quick errand with milk, bread, and a new Pontiac.
(I still say the Pontiac was not my fault. I blame whoever put a dealership between my house and Kroger.)
Anyway, while it occasionally has led me to some silly purchases (the Pontiac was a lemon). I can't call impulse buying a fault. Especially not today, because I (impulsively) just bought ... a tractor.
I suppose this would be as good a time as any to point out that I live in the city, in a very urban neighborhood full of very urban Victorian houses with very urban small yards. It is not what you would call a tractor-friendly environment.
So on the surface, this was an extremely stupid thing for me to do.
But this is no ordinary tractor. This was my grandfather's Oliver Row Crop 60.
By today's monster-sized tractorfication standards, it's a dinky little thing. Compared to the latest behemoths from John Deere and Case IH, it's a lawn tractor.
But this little Oliver, built in the 1940s, represents Grandpa McKenzie's giant step away from horse-drawn agriculture, and that makes it enormous in my eyes.
Just seeing pictures of it reminds me of my early kidhood, when going to visit Grandma and Grandpa on the farm - the farm! - was something you looked forward to all year long. Grandpa didn't mind kids crawling onto the tractors and pretending to drive. Unless, of course, he was using them at the time which, in a sense, is how one of his tractors carried me into family legend.
It was a summer morning, and for some reason a whole bunch of McKenzies were at the farm. Somehow, I managed to be alone - not easy when your first cousins alone number more than 50 - when Grandpa came chugging in from the field on his "big" tractor, an Oliver Row Crop 77. He gestured for me to join him and ride along.
After a spin around the barn, he stopped and let me off.
"Now, don't tell the others," he said, "or I'll be giving rides all day."
I promised. And then 30 seconds later went running up to my cousins, shouting "Grandpa gave me a ride on the tractor!"
My cousins began lining up for their rides. And I understand Grandpa later had a conversation with Mom on the subject of Your Kid Is A Blabbermouth.
All of which explains, to me anyway, why I had to buy this tractor when it became available. I didn't want it to pass out of the family, and maybe by restoring it, I could make things up to Grandpa a little bit, and of course be the envy of my neighborhood. My very urban neighborhood.
I'd be really surprised if anyone else on my block owns a 1940s-era tractor in need of a complete overhaul, new paint, and new tires.
So it's an impulse buy. So what? It has meaning. Although I still don't know where I'm going to keep it. Or what I'm going to do with this nagging notion that I'd also like a 77.
© 2013 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
Will the current V.A. backlog on veterans’ compensation claims be the next scandal to hit the administration?
Currently, the backlog is at 865,000 plus compensation claims with a wait time of greater than 125 days.
June 18, 2013
Apparently, it is not enough to tolerate, accept, or even endorse the gay agenda. Now, unless you tolerate and accept criminal behavior committed by gays, you are a hater.
Believe it — that is the very public argument being made in behalf of Florida high school cheerleader Kaitlyn Hunt, 18, who faces criminal charges for having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Word on the street and in the media is that it will be a really bad summer for mosquitoes. Or should I say, it will be a really bad summer for humans, because it will be a great year for thirsty mosquitoes.
June 14, 2013
As a Christian, I feel compelled to respond to a recent letter to the editor.
When Barack Obama announced his presidential campaign back in February 2007, he did it in front of the old Springfield, Ill., Statehouse in a speech full of references to Abraham Lincoln.
Ordinarily I don’t take requests, but a bunch of people have written to ask how I’m doing with my weight-loss surgery and I thought this might be the most efficient way to answer.
June 11, 2013
I am a grandmother who went to the Brownsburg graduation ceremony on June 7 and due to very poor planning on Brownsburg School’s part, I could not sit and watch my twin grandsons graduate in person. I was directed to an overflow room where I had to watch it on a TV screen and could not even take pictures.
What you are now hearing across the land is a collective whine. Blue-state Democrats are upset that Texas Gov. Rick Perry dares come and play in their sandboxes, and worse, threatens to “poach” jobs from their states.
The website Politico reports that Perry’s attempts to lure jobs to Texas are “infuriating to prominent Democrats around the country.”
I am the first to admit I am behind the times when it comes to technology. I remember way back in the olden days of the 1990s when I was actually ahead of the game. Now there are second-graders that are more tech savvy than me. I just decided to stop my forward technological progression a few years back.
June 7, 2013
College graduates facing a crushing debt – some more than $100,000 – is a very big and a very real problem.
But U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent proposal to deal with it won’t solve the problem. It is a cheap ploy to divert attention from the real problem.
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
Pit bulls “are considered dangerous animals/dogs and potentially hazardous to the community,” a Bessemer, Pa., ordinance states.
June 19, 2013
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