Comes a point when ya just have to pull the plug. I hit that point when Jim called me up and said, “I found shims under the main bearings.” If this particular 1950 Ferguson TEA-20 had been Grandad’s, I would have said “spare no expense! It’s got sentimental value.” But it’s not. It’s an old tractor that was abused and poorly rebuilt (at least once) and abused until it finally broke. End of story. Kinda sad, but in the end I need a working tractor, not yard art or a parade queen.

So I went looking for another tractor. Put out a bunch of feelers to people, but nobody knew of a good used outfit. I’m not one to wait for the world — we went looking at new tractors. On the Saturday I went into town there was precisely ONE tractor dealer open, Prairie Coast. If the “competition” doesn’t want to compete, then I will go with the people who will also be open when I need parts. I’m not the world’s biggest John Deere fan but since the last Emerson-Brantingham rolled off the line in like 1925 it looks like the next best thing.

So I’ll get pictures of the new machine up soon. “New to me” I should say, as it’s a lightly used (275 hours) John Deere 4320. I used to live not far from Waterloo, Iowa where Deere has a major factory. I think this’ll work out OK. Seems like a solid outfit, anyway. One of the neighbours was giving me the fish-eye for buying a new tractor, but I just said, “That’s how the next generation is gonna have old tractors.”