If you grew up on a farm, chances are that a tractor looms large in your memory. Whether it was your dad's first tractor, or the first tractor you drove, or the first one you bought with your own money, tractors were invariably and inevitably the big news of the day.
A new book captures that appeal. My First Tractor is a collection of essays on the topic. Each chapter will launch a hundred ships of memory; each story rings true, serving as gentle reminder of similar experiences. In this issue of Farm Collector we are thrilled to give you a sneak peek in the form of a bonus excerpt by writer Michael Perry.
Mike (we're not on a first-name basis but I don't think he'd object) is billed as a humorist, writer and singer/songwriter. For all that, he basically comes across as that funny guy you know on the volunteer fire department – maybe because he is a volunteer fireman (and he is funny). He has a deep affection and appreciation for the farm and rural life, and that shines through in his essay “Drivin' Tractor.” As he shows in a hugely entertaining manner, that first tractor spawns not one but a host of memorable moments, and all – if you look hard enough – are instructive. Mike is a keen observer who captures the joy of rural life with a good-natured grin. Check him out in print or online at www.sneezingcow.com.
Another thing to check out: the Farm Collector Field Guide to Mystery Farm Tools (see ad, page 46-47). If you like the “What Is It” section in each issue of Farm Collector, you're going to love this special edition dedicated solely to mystery tools from farm country. Packed with super photos, patent drawings and collector resources, it is a jimdandy for anybody interested in antique farm equipment.
The guide is split into six categories: field/crop, barn/shop, farmhouse, livestock, specialty tools and odd lots. It's a great reference for the collector, and an equally great launch pad for the novice. And it's all made possible by you: those of you who've sent photos of mystery items, and those of you who've shared your knowledge of these fascinating bits of history. Hats off to a community of collectors and enthusiasts who are preserving the past! FC