For those of you who pay scant attention to
such things, Valentine’s Day approaches. We’ve tried a subtle
reminder, delivered not by cupid but by Bill Vossler, who’s written
a bang-up piece on the Love tractor line for this issue (beginning,
fittingly enough, on page 14). The Love (which later, briefly,
became the Friday tractor) is a rare and unique tractor designed
for orchard use as well as speed: The manufacturer claimed a Love
could be driven at up to 50 mph.
But I digress. Think of this as a public service announcement.
Many of you who spend considerable time and energy pursuing old
iron do so with a good woman at your side. I could elaborate on the
contribution women make to this hobby, but fear the publisher might
balk at adding pages to this issue. Let’s just leave it at this:
You’d be amazed how far you can advance your cause through even a
modest observance of Valentine’s Day!
Other gems in this issue include recollections from a retired
farmer in Holland. M.H. Burgers’ memories of his first combine are
clear even half a century later. Students of history will remember
that the Marshall Plan helped rebuild Europe after World War II,
but may be fuzzy on the details. Burgers’ memories help us
understand one of the ways in which that rebuilding was
accomplished. And the gratitude he expresses for American efforts
is a true valentine.
We’re deep in winter here in the Midwest. You can rant and rave
at the snow and cold, or you can face it head on. We’re taking the
latter option, and remembering the fun of sledding. Collector Gail
Kruse has a bigger-than-life time capsule in his collection of
sleds (see page 28-30 of this issue).
According to legend, sledding has its roots in Roman times, when
soldiers accompanying Julius Caesar across the Alps rode their
shields down the snowy mountainsides, using their spears to steer.
A historian may scoff at that notion, but speaking as the mother of
two teenage boys I find it absolutely plausible … though today’s
shield is a snowboard, and the spear, a ski pole. Truly, time
marches on … in sled equipment, and calendars. Happy Valentine’s
Leslie McManus, Editor