Letters to the Editor: Farming with Dad

Mike Gunther remembers the thrill of driving his father's tractor as a boy.

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Dale Jensen's pedal tractor article (Farm Collector, March 2008) immediately transported me to those days on a small cotton farm in southeast Missouri. Dad's 1946 Farmall H was a shiny marvel to me. I would work "my ground" in the shade by the side of our house until noon. Watching the turn row for my dad to head in for dinner, I would light out to meet him so I could ride back.

We had to stop at the horse lot gate where I took over. Dad would open the gate, then start the tractor in low gear and low idle and step off. I guided the tractor to the gas tank and then pushed the kill switch with my big toe. The tractor would give a gentle groan as it died, ending my big thrill of the morning.

The evening shift brought the same ritual. Dad bought a little Ferguson TE 20 for me to drive when I was 11 and I learned how to watch the sun to determine time. I best not head to the house before high noon or before the sun set behind the woods. We don't actively farm anymore, but I have a 1946 M and a 1953 Farmall Super M that maintain my ties to those simpler days. I enjoy all the articles in Farm Collector. Keep up the good work.

Mike Gunther
Dixon, Mo.