Manchester mourns teen killed in single-car crash Kylie S Lucas Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy Tom A Mihalovich Brand hat trick leads North Adams past West Union 5-2 in SHAC soccer action Senior Profile: Bryant Lung Lady Hounds pull off thrilling Senior Night win Volleyball milestones continue to pile up at North Adams Banner season for Lady Indians soccer SHAC holds Junior High Volleyball Tournament Tournament match ups set for volleyball and soccer Senior Profile: Morgan Edmisten Hounds dominate, improve to 3-4 Is this not the best time of the year? Volley For The Cure is another big success Getting everything we ask for Oh, that dreaded leaf project Manchester: Adams County’s oldest community looks to the future with hope Congressman visits Manchester’s newest business Six candidates vie for MLSD School Board Highway 41 road work stalls MFD holds annual Safety Day for kids, families Lenora Mckee Virgie Cole Helen J Damron Karen S Lockhart Donna M Pelfrey Russell D Pollitt, Sr Karen S Lockhart Harris named Director of Shelter for the Homeless Local candidates abundant on November ballot Senior Profile: McKinlee Grooms Lady Dragons finish third in district golf tourney Lady Devils challenged, but survive to extend SHAC streak to 60 Rally falls short, Lady Hounds fall in five sets to Fairfield Senior Profile: Jessica Newman Lady Indians get shutout win over West Union, 2-0 Erwins host annual Herb Fair Bentonville: A community at the crossroads of Adams County history Tranquility, Wilson Homestead host annual Heritage Days Why we get back up Your local newspaper, the real deal Welcome to the morning klatch Oleda F Saunders Frank A Golden Shirley A Tully Hubert Knauff John T Shupert Celebrate the sports pages Gould, Woolard, defense lead Hounds to second win George E Lucas Betty A Johnson Hayes sentenced Sue Day Devils headed back to state golf tourney Earl R Fields Alberta L Steward Gregory Terry Linda Taylor Levies slated for November ballot Manchester residents forming neighborhood watch group West Union teachers receive prestigious award Crum arraigned in Brown County Common Pleas Court Seaman: A small town with a big heart and a family spirit Seaman Fall Festival again draws large crowds NAES participates in weekend food program AES Ohio Generation assumes control of DP&L assets West Union, Peebles take home county XC crowns Lady Devils win a soccer buzzer-beater Senior Profile: Brooklyn Wylie Lady Dragons move to districts Green Devils win sectional golf title West Union hosting fourth annual Alumni Volleyball Game Gray breaks Lady Indians’ single season goals record Senior Profile: Chase Cummings Lady Dragons cruise to SHAC title Hupp ties school record with five goals in Lady Devils’ win over Southeastern For 14th time in 15 years, Dragons claim SHAC Boys Golf Championship Getting life in order See those signals of the season Jury returns verdict in former Manchester police officer’s trial Larry Peters Gary L Hughes Sr Deanna L Parker Stephen R Fetters Bonnie Hawkins Clifton J DeMint Steven L Kimberlin When you just know The tradition of the Sunday dinner The emotions of leaving for college A hard habit to break Did it happen or did it not?

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.

http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_RickHouser-1.jpg

The Good Old Days

Rick Houser

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© The People's Defender - All rights reserved