It’s January. If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line, you may need a little something to take your mind off that fact. (And if you’re south of the line, you may need a diversion from the boredom of Yet Another Day in Paradise.) Why not consider an old iron New Year’s resolution or two?
First and foremost, this year, put new emphasis on safety. Whether it’s while you’re trucking, restoring or displaying, slow down; don’t get in a hurry. Think things through before you leap into action. Consider not only your own safety but that of those nearby. Have an exit strategy in mind should your best-laid plans tank. An ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.
Finish a project. Now don’t get nervous: We’re not talking about everything you’ve ever hauled home – just one piece that’s been on the back burner. Bored by the stuff you’ve been working on? It may be time to branch out. Try something new that requires different techniques or materials than you’re used to working with. Stretch!
Take a friend to a show. Round up a buddy who has no idea of what this hobby is about and take him or her to a nearby show. Leave the agenda at home: Don’t do it to boost gate receipts or reinvigorate the hobby. Do it because it’s fun. Do it because a lot of people have no idea how fun it is. For those outside the old iron hobby ours is unfamiliar territory. Be a tour guide; show them what you like about the hobby.
Get involved. Take a display to a local show or become a volunteer. Every show in the country could benefit from an infusion of workers, whether it’s in the off-season or on show weekend. You don’t have to sign a lifetime contract or attend weekly meetings. Just do what you can when you can. Many hands make light work.
Above all, keep having fun. If any part of this hobby starts feeling like work, that’s a signal to rethink what you’re doing. Stop for a minute and remember what you enjoy about old iron, the hobby and the community – and chase that like a dog after a squirrel. Make that your resolution in 2011 and the rest will fall in place! Happy New Year from all of us at Farm Collector. FC