My family got together for the Labor Day weekend. My cousins, who both live out of state, were back home. So you know what that means -- lots and lots of family pictures.
We listened to our grandpa tell stories about his early days on the farm. One of my favorite stories is his recollection of his first tractors.
Grandpa said he bought his first tractor, an International Harvester (in Iowa, you're either a 'red' family or a 'green' family, depending on your inclination towards John Deere or Case-IH tractors), back in the late 1930s. The tractor cost him $700, some of which he had to borrow from his dad. He paid an extra $25 to equip his first tractor with lights and an electric (rather than a hand-crank) start.
My grandpa says he bought his second tractor during WWII. (My grandpa wasn't sent to war because he had to take care of the farm after his dad passed away.) One day, he saw a tractor at a nearby railroad depot. He asked where the tractor was headed, and they told him it was going to a dealer a few miles down the tracks. So my grandpa drove to the dealer and asked if he could buy the tractor. And the dealer had no idea what granpda was talking about -- they weren't expecting to receive another tractor.
Eventually, my grandpa made arrangements to buy the tractor, but he had to get permission from the county rationing board to equip the tractor with rubber wheels (instead of the standard steel wheels). The rationing board approved his request, but as my grandpa says, "It may have helped that my uncle was on the board." Grandpa always says that last line with a mischevious grin.
Hope you don't mind that I'm sharing a family story with you. I wanted to write it down while it was still fresh in my mind. I'm very proud of my grandpa and all the work he did on the farm to provide for our family. I'll always be thankful for the opportunity he gave me to be a little girl growing up on the farm.