Marcia R Baldwin Juanita N Lewis Mary K Hilterbran Jack D Reed ‘I had no gumption except to get high’ Long-lost siblings meet for the first time after nearly six decades apart Freedom Festival to honor the American Flag ‘Music and Memory’ at Adams County Manor renews lives lost to dementia Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy takes gold at 2017 Ohio Police and Fire Games Toole awarded Winchester Alumni Scholarship Lady Devils host Summer Varsity Shootout In 14U, Peebles finishes regular season with blowout win Der professionelle Basketball-Traum Local pair attend Wabash College Wrestling Camp Shootouts in the summer time Eight dollars and three keys When life gets messy Hot summer days were no sweat Janice McGlothin Jeannine O Evans Gerald Grooms Marvin Setty Richard G Waldron Grand Marshals selected for West Union Fourth of July Parade Adams County, Maysville Vet team up to save injured dog Michael S Knauff Victor P Price Success builds from the bottom up Finalists named for 2017 Fair Queen Contest William Glenn DeWine, Reader Call For Tips in Rhoden Murder Investigation MHS principal to take superintendent post Peebles Skate Park now a reality 2017-18 Fur and Feather Ambassadors named Caley Grooms is Cattlemen’s Beef Ambassador Dr. Mueller leaving Health Department’s free clinic Hourglass Quilt Barn returning to Adams County Lung, Thornburg are First Team All-District selections North Adams hosts annual Boys Basketball Camps Walk-off winner Wanda Hill George D Johnson Life can be a juggling act My favorite thing to do on the farm Wolves in Adams County! Ronald L Wedmore Three lessons from Dad Donald D Morgan Wenstrup uninjured in Virginia shooting Portman staff to hold grant funding workshop Raymond E Applegate Keeping the Peebles tradition alive Back on the hardwood, local hoops squads compete in Monday Night League Seven county athletes recognized as All-SHAC Baseball honorees Stepping to the podium Lady Hounds host Youth Volleyball Camp Senior Profile: Bryan Young Junior Deputy Boot Camps kick off in Manchester Hayes pleads “not guilty” to 109 counts Six-year-old girl finds long-lost class ring Jefferson Alumni awards annual scholarships Paul Tate Jr Marcus I Cox Jewell Gill James M Hill Jr Jeffrey S Jones Samuel A Disher Jack Sterling BREAKING NEWS: Parents face charges after son overdoses on opiate License Hikes and Tall Turkey Tales Danger under every rock Reigning Miss Ohio USA will judge 2017 Adams County Fair Queen Pageant Gordley’s hoops career will continue at Mount St. Joseph Russell C Newman Kenneth C Thurman George Uebel Summer Reading Program underway Honor Flight carries local veteran to DC When rescuers become victims Passing the torch, West Union hosts week-long basketball camp for future Dragons SENIOR PROFILE: Sara Knechtly Terry L Powell Willie Shreffler James C Fitzpatrick Senior Profile: Austin Parks Six countians named to All-SHAC Softball squad Lady Indians get summer camp season underway Memorial Day services pay tribute to local veterans WUHS Steel Band will perform at Bogart’s SSCC announces Honors Lists for spring semester Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for final nine weeks West Union Elementary announces Honor Roll for fourth nine weeks Back to State! Mom calls daughter “living proof” seat belts save lives Rent-2-Own donation means new soccer scoreboard at WUHS NAHS student selected for Engineering Summer Camp Southern Hills Athletic Conferences honors Spring Sports athletes Senior Profile: Kailyn Boyd Madison Welch receives Riffle Scholarship Junior Achievement Volunteers visit county’s seventh graders

A place where a farm boy could dream

Like most boys who grew up on a farm, I recall a place that held the attention of a kid and yet allowed them to dream also. I’m speaking of the tractor and implement store. Since my dad farmed with Ford tractors and mostly Ford implements, my place of fascination was in Bethel at Harlow’s Tractor Sales. The make of the tractor determined a boys’ first dealership he got to see and enjoy.

In late winter getting near to spring, Dad would take a drive over to Harlow’s with a list of needs in his pocket and me at his side, as he wasn’t going to get to go there without me. From the time we entered the showroom, my eyes would widen with the expectation of two tractors on display that were that year’s brand, new and just out of the factory models. These were probably the models that were sold the most and had all the newest features. What also made them huge in my mind was that the service counter was just past them, so customers had to walk past and stand by them the entire time they were ordering their supplies. I was even allowed to climb up and sit behind the wheel of a new Power Master or Work Master and just sit there and imagine just what task I was working that tractor through.

Dad usually had a lengthy shoppin list because he was stocking up for when the spring farming surge began. While Dad waited and was finally waited on, I would go outside into the lot where more tractors, corn planters, plows, discs, and hay balers filled the lot and my imagination. They were all bright and shiny and so awesome. They all looked better than Dad’s tools that had been used in the fields with the shine was gone.

At times there seemed to be a spell cast over me. Why can’t Dad just buy a new tractor and all of these new pieces of equipment? He would be the best looking farmer in the county. Fortunately the spell would break and I’d move on to another implement and study it to see if I could identify any new change in this model.

With my inspection of everything on the lot I would gravitate back into the showroom where Dad was building a large pile of parts to buy. I would study for a minute what he had and then move over to the one side of the room that I had saved for last. This was where the pedal Ford tractors were but even better than that were the built-to-scale Ford tractor replicas that could be purchased with a plow, a disc, and a wagon. (All were built to scale and every kid saw then as a toy that ranked at the top of its class.)

Another feature I liked at the store was that the men there treated me like I was a customer and would answer questions about tractors and equipment if I asked. I think two things were going on here. Number one, my Dad was buying parts and he always paid cash. Number two was that maybe I might be able toconvince Dad to buy me a scaled tractor and plows. From what I recall Mr. Harlow, the owner,was a very nice soft spoken man who my Dad thought a lot of. His two sons, Jerry and Larry, also worked there and they were always friendly and helpful to Dad and very nice to me. I always felt that my Dad was a good judge of character and if he thought well of someone,then I looked at them favorably. He liked them, therefore I liked them.

Dad was a regular customer at Harlow’s even past his farming days because they sold Wheel Horse tractor mowers and I visited too until they closed within the last decade, and sadly many other dealerships have also. Harlow’s was the first business that I knew existed in the town of Bethel, but it is safe to say that boys all over the country went with their Dads to the tractor dealership of whatever tractor their Dad used, whether it be Allis Chalmers, Farm All, John Deere, or Massey Ferguson.

The tractor place was a magical place, a fact that I doubt any boy (but especially farm boys) would deny. There is something about when you are young and your Dad pounds it into your head to be careful and don’t get near the tractor or the hay baler, but at the dealership you can go near the machinery and touch it and look deep into what makes it what it is and not be told to back away or be careful. It could be approached and looked at through the eyes of a curious little boy all they wanted.

The next time you talk to a little boy who just returned from a dealershipm ask them if the enjoyed themselves. I know I did and guess what? I still do look at the tractors and implements just for the fun of it. At least that is what I tell my wife.

Rick Houser was raised on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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The Good Old Days

Rick Houser

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