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My Grandfather loved tractors. He would drive to any part of the country if he knew a tractor was for sale. One day, in 1962, he had heard about an old 8n from a distant friend in Iowa. With the arrangements made, he left his house in New Jersey. Three days later he was on his way back with the '48 8n on the trailer. He told me she wasn't pretty, but a real work machine. With this dream machine in his hands he still felt as if something was missing. Then it hit him. Every tractor needs a name. Quickly, he drove to the local hardware store to get some black paint and a brush. Carefully he painted on the letters, one after one. When he was done, the name Lonny could clearly be seen on both sides of the rusted old hood. My grandfather and Lonny, spent many a day together until he had gotten sick. My grandmother needed money for medical bills so she decided to sell Lonny. My Grandfather recovered from his illness, but he was never right after being hospitalized, and in 1999 he died. Now I am older and still share his passion for tractors. One day as I was driving to a tractor show in upstate New York, I found myself lost in an old farming community. My eyes caught a glimpse of a fallen down barn. As I came closer I was able to make out the image of a rusted old tractor underneath the timbers. I steered my truck into the driveway of the home next to the barn. I walked up to the front door, gave it a knock, and I was greeted by a 70 year old man. I asked if I could take a closer look at the tractor. Unsure of who I was or what I actually wanted, he walked out to the barn with me. He told me he had bought it in New Jersey about twenty-five years ago. He used it for about five years after that, then put it away in the barn where it was now sitting. As I walked closer to the wreckage, it came clear to me that this was indeed an 8n. Those fenders, the wheels, the faded red ford logo on the hood were all signs of my favorite tractor. Moving the timbers off the tractor, I started to sense something very familar about the machine. Clearing off the hood, I noticed faded black paint in the form of a word. Realizing what I had stumbled upon I felt the hairs stick up in the back of my neck. I moved faster throwing the rotted two by fours over my shoulder. Could this have been my Grandfather's beloved Lonny? About two minutes later, when everything was clear, I felt a tear come to my eye when I was sure that this was Lonny. Luckily, I had a picture of my Grandfather and Lonny in my truck to show the old man. He was just as stunned as me. I knew I needed this tractor, so I offered the man a price. He rubbed his chin and said, 'Take it'. 'It will do you more good then if I keep it sitting here.' I thanked the old man, put it on my trailer and headed home. Six months later, after restoring Lonny, I took a picture of him and I just like my Grandfather's. For me to stumble upon Lonny, is more than just a fluke. I guess there is a reason for everything.
email@example.com, NY, entered 2009-03-04
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