Years ago my father purchased a tractor. I was just a kid, and if my memory serves me correctly, the entire process described below was through was just to get the tractor.
He owned 60 acres of mountain land about 30 miles from our home. One evening he came home from work later than usual. He had stopped off to complete the purchase of a 1954 Chevrolet 2-ton truck. Blue cab, faded red wooden bed, two speed axle. I was 12-13 yeard old, and I loved that old truck. But is was only a few days later he came home and told us he had bought a tractor. A 1953 Ford Golden Jubilee with a loader. All thoughts of the truck left my mind: I really loved the looks of this tractor. Dad's plan was to cut pulpwood from his mountain land, sell it and regain the money he used to purchase the truck and tractor.
I remember my father picking me up from school to 'go to the mountain' and cut wood. After two or three evenings, we would have a load cut, drug down to the bottom and loaded on the truck. Then my father would drive the logging truck and have me drive his pick-up and follow him to town. I was 13 years old, driving a '69 Ford truck 30 miles to town. They would lock us both up for doing this today, but back then it was no big deal. We would leave the truck on the outskirts of town, where Mom and Dad would come out later to pick it up. After cutting and selling enough pulpwood to pay for the truck, the tractor and materials to build a tractor shed, my father sold the truck to an uncle of mine. But he kept the tractor.
My mother and father eventually built a new house on some land my father bought, and with this 10 acres he did not need the mountain land any longer. was more than he could keep up. So he sold the land and brought the tractor to the new house, where he used it to work the garden, bush-hog a little and scrape the road.
My father passed away in 1989, not long after I moved back home from attending school out of state. My wife and I lived with my mother for a little while, as we were looking for our first house. After buying our home, I brought the tractor over to use at my place. Not long after bringing it to my house, the rear end came out and I parked it under the shed. As we were just starting out, with a new baby on the way, I did not have the extra cash to repair the tractor. So when a fella stopped to ask about buying the front end loader, I told him I would only sell the entire tractor. I priced it to him, he wrote me a check and came back that weekend to pick it up.
That was around 1993. Now that I'm a little older and more settled, I regret getting rid of Dad's tractor. About a year ago, I told my wife I sure would like to find that old tractor. One evening she and I had stopped to look at a 600 series I had found for sale. But it was not what I wanted. So we took a ride up to the fellows farm that bought my dad's tractor from me. We talked to his brother, who told us the tractor never came to the farm. His brother got the loader off of it, and sold the tractor to another gentleman.
Well, I kind of dropped it at that point. But not my wife. The next day she drove up to the farm of the gentleman who bought the tractor. He was not home, but his wife remembered it, as it was the only Ford that had ever been on their farm. She told my wife they repaired the tractor, and her father fell in love with it. But the was getting up there in years, and the family was afraid he would get hurt on it. So they sold it. My wife was able to track it's location through a coup[le mre owners, until it was sold out-of-state.
I realized at this point I would not be able to find the old man's tractor, so I started looking for another one. What I finally found was a 1954 Jubilee. Not a '53 like my fathers, but close enough. I am now starting the restoration process, which I hope to have complete by June 2008.
Funny thing, since purchasing my '54, I have found two Golden Jubilee's for sale. My wife has tried to get me to trade mine for one of these, or just to go ahead and buy one and sell the '54 later. But they are in rougher shape than my '54, and I have had mine long enough that I am too attached to get rid of her. But after this restoration is complete, maybe I'll find a Golden Jubilee to rebuild, one like the old man had.
Barry M, VA, entered 2007-12-05
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