First Things

Who can resist a good story?

| January 2009

'Tis the season of surprises! Beginning on page 16 in this issue of Farm Collector, we bring you a sneak preview of a new book on old iron. While most books on this hobby focus on restoration tips or a specific manufacturer, this one - Tractor in the Haystack: Great Stories of Tractor Archaeology - unearths tales of the hunt for antiquated treasures.

Taking the role of story-teller, author Scott Garvey settles in as comfortably as if he were leaning over the bed of a pickup, chewing the fat with friends. The stories he's gathered center on chance encounters, stubborn tenacity and - as in the one published in this issue - unimaginable good luck.

Who can resist a good story? Not us! This issue is packed with them. Take a tumble through these pages and meet a man so captivated by combines that he restored a John Deere 45 - and put it to work in an Idaho wheat field ("45 at 50," page 32). Then there's the guy who bought an old, beat-up harvester - even though ensilage harvesters are not generally considered highly collectible and he already had one. Four years passed before he discovered something unusual about his newest harvester ("Ahead of its Time," page 20). And don't miss the story of the chain of events that resulted from one man's daydream of a stream of tractors rolling over a bridge ("Northern Lights," page 31). Hungry for more? Read about the pair of farmers who refused to let a chapter of ag history dissolve into the mists of time ("Minnesotans sweep up vintage sugar beet equipment," page 26).

From the beginning of time, stories have brought people together. At Farm Collector, stories are our stock in trade. The shelves groan beneath the weight of the tales we've inventoried for you. In the next issue alone, we'll tell you more about the famed inventor you'll meet in this issue (see page 20), revisit the ice harvest, take a look at Model T Ford Snowmobiles and revisit the days when corn was picked by hand - but those are stories for another day.

As winter approaches, darkness comes early. Give the remote a rest and draw near to the fire; ease into a tale of old iron. Who knows what you'll find in this issue? It is, after all, the season of surprises and we've wrapped up a few for you. Happy holidays from all of us at Farm Collector!

Leslie McManus, Editor