Sunday, April 13, 2014
It's All Running, Mostly
I am machinery poor:
1 John Deere 4700 tractor
2 1954 Chevy Trucks
1 1966 Volvo 122
1 1971 Volvo 145 wagon
1 1948 Gravely 8 hp Combo Garden machine, with attachments
2 Snapper Lawnmowers, well used
1 1968 Dodge 300 16 ft flatbed truck
1 Task Force mower.
3 Troy built tillers...another for parts
1 235 Chevy motor circa 1956
1 B 2000 Volvo motor
1 1918 McCormick 11/2 HP Hit or Miss motor (has never run in it's time with me. Pray for it, friends, it's gonna take someone smarter than I to rescue this from boat anchor status)
The above list does not include some 20 "implements" for the tractor, including cement mixers, spreaders of the manure kind, bush hogs (multiple) finish mowers, roto tillers (3) etc.
AND IT'S ALL RUNNING, and working...this week only.
It's taken a couple weeks to accomplish. The challenge was the Gravely. It's a late 40's, cantankerous, heavy machine with origin in Dunbar, WV. It only runs on certain days of the week...takes it a while to come out of hibernation. It pulls my arm out of joint to start it...so I've added an electric start option...it didn't like that either, and still refuses to run.
Machines, like people, don't do well when they sit idle for any period of time. We, like machines, go to hell pretty quickly if we don't work. The Gravely is a Primitive, tough and a mind of it's own. I don't know why I keep 'em. They sit around, rust, get grumpy, and have lives of there own to live. I was 7 when the Gravely was new...and it worked me plenty hard until I got to old to handle it.
This is a lifetime collection, folks.
All these machines have or had a special function when they came into my possession, one way or another. Most of the garden stuff were orphans. The trucks and Volvo's are nostalgic...the rest just show up like stray cats.
My job is to keep 'em running. They do not like the "the new gas", none of them drink, I guess. I go out and find "regular gas" from a station 12 miles away for my chainsaws, too. I get two well charged batteries, take a deep breath or two, and start praying they'll run and cussing them and the horse they rode in on, more than not.
Thy do I maintain these old relics? I must. It's a moral obligation...I brought 'em here. They work for me, and I support them. Most don't have insurance or tags...but are farm use vehicles. We do creep out onto the back roads to "blow the soot" out occasionally...especially the big Dodge flatbed with the 318 V8, she begs to go out for a "run" occasionally. I just rebuilt the drive shaft in that one.
I know when I'm on a celestial journey everyone touts so highly. These objects will cause monstrous gnashing of teeth amongst those who have to deal with them. The junk man is not allowed to become enriched by my demise. Me old toys will rot down, much as they are doing now, or be taken in by those who appreciate them. Not up to me. They are worth something, other than junk.
May they bring a smile to the faces of the new owners, as they do me. I hope they bear the skint knuckles, furrowed brow, and greasy fingernails of one who enjoys his obligation to these inanimate objects..
I don't envision my demise to be imminent, so don't get your hopes up! These machines live to drive me crazy until then.