Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Reader Contribution by Leslie C. Mcmanus
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Who’s the one person of all time you’d most like to have dinner with?

That used to be a stock question for the journalist interviewing a subject for an in-depth profile. A variation of it drifted through my mind while I was working with responses to the What Is It mystery tools in this issue.

In the What Is It section, we have several “regulars” who respond month in, month out, often with notes that shed light on arcane details. Given the nationwide scope of Farm Collector, it seems unlikely that these folks are personally acquainted, but as I read a note from one the other day, the thought came to me that it’d be such fun if they were.

And then my mind set off on a sojourn. First off, it’s my daydream, so I’ll run it my way, thanks very much. I’d change the venue to a shady spot at a tractor show with a big circle of lawn chairs. One person? Ha! I’d invite all my favorite gents from the hobby.

Some, with the minds of mechanical engineers, brilliantly cipher the process of building flawless scale model tractors and engines. Others are passionate about their town, their county, their state, and are devoted students of the history of the agriculture practices and machinery used there.

Still others have stunning powers of recall, able to identify items that have been lost to the rest of us for a century or more. Then there are the fellows who patiently track a machine or a part for years, never giving up until they find the elusive prize.

I like imagining the scene that unfolds under shade trees, as brilliant minds interact over the course of the afternoon. But I’m not finished. Why not throw in a wild card or two? I’d also invite James Watt. David Bradley. James Oliver. J.I. Case. John Deere. Cyrus McCormick. F.E. Myers. Thomas Jefferson. Meinrad Rumely. Benjamin Holt and C.L. Best. Raymond Loewy. Henry Dreyfuss. C.H. Wendel. Just for fun, I’d seat Henry Ford and Harry Ferguson right next to each other.

And about the middle of the afternoon, there’d be homemade ice cream. Lots of it, in lots of flavors … and that’s a pretty sweet ending to a late winter daydream. Cheers! FC

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