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The green B and the Red C.

The depression in the 30s was devastating to my parents who got married in 1927. Even in the 50s, dad had not recovered financially so the tractors that we used to farm with were old and well worn when dad bought them. Dad would set the throttle stops at less than rated speed in order to ease the stress on these well-worn engines. My older brother and I, both teenagers, knew not to mess with these throttle speed adjustment or else. However unlike our old Case tractor, our 37 B John Deere had its governor arm within reach of the left foot. By stretching the left foot forward into an uncomfortable position, we could contact the long setscrew on the governor arm and rev up the engine when dad was not around of course. In the early 50s, Clate, a neighbor, had a new super C Farmall only a tad bigger than our little B John Deere. We had baled hay together one day and it was time to take two loads of hay about 3 miles to a barn. Clate hooked his super C onto one load having about 50 bales and I hooked the B to another load the same size. Having green blood in me at that time of my life, I was secretly determined to keep up with the new super C. Clate started off first: totally unaware of my intentions of trying to keep up with him. The 3 miles of road had a long upgrade and then a long downgrade and the last mile was level. The little B could not keep up with its engine speed set where dad had put it. With dad nowhere around, it was time to put the left foot on the governor arm for some extra speed. The little B struggled up the long grade in road gear: over revved about 50% above rated speed with the butterfly pegged. Ever so, the super C gained a little bit on me going up the long grade. On the long downgrade, Clate throttled back a little. By keeping my left foot on the governor arm, I managed to gain back most of the distance that I had lost on the upgrade. On the level, Clate speeded the super C up a little so again I needed a lot of over rev to just keep up. With a little distance to go, I finally realized that the little B was not a match for the super C and also that dad would really work me over if he knew what I was doing so I retrieved my left foot from the governor arm. I never told anyone anything for fear that dad would find out. The little B survived, has been restored, and is still in the family. By the way, if Clate’s super C is still around somewhere, how about a rematch: maybe a tug of war this time or at a tractor pull somewhere? For pictures of our little B and our old Case, go to tractor photos and type 37 John Deere B in the search box. Ron Satzler

Ron Satzler, Il, entered 2009-01-18
My Email Address: Not Displayed

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