What’s New! Another Review

 Fire Tales The world has turned away from magic and cast all magical creatures into the netherworld. But there is not peace. The Arianmordun empire has taken control of its enemy country Senlaisre, enslaving its people for centuries. The people of Senlaisre lie in wait, secretly plotting a rebellion, but the rebels want to ensure their victory and send a young man, Ailadwr, to find the sword Maelcethin in the forbidden forest. The sword is known to bring victory to what hand claims it, but Ailadwr knows that there is a price: the opening of hell and the release of all magic.

Cover designed by Judith Snyder

This is a recently released book by fellow House of Honor author Keshia Willi. Keshia hails from Virginia and is a recognized screenwriter

Keshia’s writing style is very classical. The words flow like English poetry. I downloaded the book via Audible for my listening pleasure.

The audio book is well complimented by the choice of narrators. Kacey Sophia brings the story to life with her airy British accent. Listening to the tale is magical.

This was a great change of pace for me. I highly recommend the book.

Jack LaFountain has brought Ed Landry into the third book of the sequel. The book is available on Amazon and Audible. Cameron Buckner narrates.

Cover by Judith Snyder

The bill has come due for Magic Mike’s death and Ed Landry has to pay up—the voodoo queen of New Orleans insists on it. Jazz Ledoux arrives in Oklahoma with the message, get home, Christy’s been kidnapped.

On the road back to Louisiana, Landry falls under the power of a spell that carries him to Lockett in visions. Friends and enemies alike take on new shapes as Landry is forced into a showdown on the bayou. This fight for his life will leave him bloodied.

Another great story by Jack. It was quick. I listened to the book in a day. I realize I had the time being on the road all day.

These two books, and more to be purchased can be discovered, at the website http://www.houseofhonorbooks.com

While you’re there please browse around. Take the time to meet our authors and narrators. There is a blog page to learn insights as to how and why we write. We at House of Honor appreciate your support and hope you enjoy the books available.

Let’s keep the Politics out of Our Passion.

This article may trigger some people, causing offense. If so, this report is based on my observations and I’m sharing my opinion. We all have freedom to agree and disagree. I also realize that this story can be viewed from different aspects.

I’m trying not to be an antique tractor puller. It’s a slippery slope not to, and I have several hands grabbing and pulling me down the hill. This is happy sarcasm by the way. The reason I “avoid” being a puller is my fear I’ll become passionately involved in yet another aspect. As far as tractors go, I’m pretty deeply invested now.

I have become acquainted with several tractor pulling clubs. Three in particular are promoted here on this blog and on Facebook Antique Iron Mafia and Media. I’m a proud supporter of two of them. One of them I personally invest time helping in any way I can. This article IS NOT directed at any of those three organizations. The clubs are administrated well, and I have observed their sense of fair play.

With that being said….

Doug and I traveled to a tractor pull in Green Valley, on Saturday. Three others came with us to watch Doug on the track. Doug had never pulled with this group. He registered in for two weight classes. He actually signed up to compete in lighter classes than he normally competes in.

There was no scale so they had to take Doug’s word that his weight was correct. If there has been scales, Doug would have provided proof. There was also a speed limit. Again Doug agreed to that.

Doug’s Oliver was the first pull of the day. Every participant had two pulls per class. Doug’s first attempt was a full pull. He had a speed warning which he immediately slowed down. The tractor and track conditions were good. Anyone that knew the tractor could tell he wasn’t running full throttle.

Doug won that weight class, he went to put more weight on, and I signed him up to pull in his normal weight class. They gladly accepted the hook fee.

I was watching the competition when the guy that Doug had defeated walked up asking questions about Doug’s Oliver. I’m just a part of the pit crew. The guy complained that Doug’s tractor had been altered and didn’t believe his weight was correct for the class. I shrugged, if we were being called on it, let’s go weigh!

Evidently, he cried to the management. Doug pulled in his next class going the distance to win, but wasn’t determined to be the winner. He also didn’t get the second pull like the other tractors. Two pulls per class, if you recall.

They had decided to disqualify him. He would be allowed to pull in the final weight class, but wasn’t allowed to compete.

After some discussion, Doug was told that he had been disqualified for his hitch and cut tires. Funny, I saw three or four tractors that had the same hitch and tires. We’re they disqualified? All the tractor clubs I’ve been associated with do inspections to determine if the tractor can pull BEFORE the participant registers for the pull.

The truth came out in the wash. They simply didn’t like a stranger coming to compete and take any trophies. They didn’t want any “hot” tractors coming in and showing them up. Doug may have been warned on his speeding, he had addressed it everytime the warning horn blew.

They didn’t have a problem taking the hook fees! To their credit they refunded the one class that Doug didn’t pull in.

We left an hour after the pull had started. If Doug wasn’t allowed to compete, we decided there were better things to do. As far as Doug’s “hot” tractor, this club is lucky that he was the only one to come compete. If anyone else from our nick of the woods had gone, they would have REALLY been put to shame with their little league tractors.

I said before I see the other side of this. I don’t agree it’s right. The group should have done a preliminary inspection of ALL the tractors. They should have also advertised the rules they were going by. Doug wouldn’t have traveled if the tractor didn’t qualify.

My parting remark for the hosting group. I don’t recommend you travel south into our area. We are more competitive and we don’t need you wetting down our track with your tears! We have tractor pulls and don’t give participation trophies. Trophies go to the winners!

This is my opinion. It’s best that I’m not a part of the governing members that manage the pulling clubs. You’re probably welcome to participate locally, the group has sanctioned rules that are abided. They are transparent about the rules and don’t make them up just to suit them.

New Perspectives has been released!

New Perspectives is an underwater adventure in a style reminiscent of Clive Cussler. Author, Rick Shaw is an experienced diver and that comes through in his storytelling. His blending of interdimensional travel, with thrills, danger and an added touch of romance is spiced with a dash of the paranormal. New Perspectives is a wonderfully well told adventure—dive right in! ~ Jack LaFountain

This year has been quite the journey. My Publisher had told me about the amazing feeling when I first held the book in my hands. The other notable milestones had to be signing the contract for the submitted manuscript, the learning experience of editing, Judy Snyder interviewing me to determine the best look for the book cover, and my friend and professional photographer Rebecca Lacy doing the photo shoot for my author picture.

I get a lot of bewildered looks from folks when they learn I’m an author. I can’t blame them, in fact I’m still amazed too!

New Perspectives tells the story of a group of sport divers in the Midwest. While searching for a missing diver, they discover a dimensional rift into another place very similar, but not as technological advanced as home.

The villain of the story is making attempts to steal new technology and advance his realm, maybe to fast, and possibly throwing that world into chaos.

The hero, with the help of a local sheriff and his sister, work to stop the villain from his evil plan. The hero and heroine fall in love, causing him to make a difficult decision.

It’s a story where the good guys aren’t so good and the bad guys aren’t so bad either.  Along the way we discover our hero isn’t exactly who he seems to be.

Bigfoot makes a cameo, making the reader wonder what exactly the portal is capable of.

° Special note for tractor fans ~ tractors play a part in this book.

This book, is just the beginning of a multi series. The next saga is just about complete. Each story will stand alone, so a reader can jump right in and enjoy any of the books….at least that’s my plan.

I have already recieved positive feedback, from a few people. But don’t take my word, or their word, for it. Jump right in and order the book and find out for yourself! If you’re local to me let’s hook up so I can put a signed copy in your hands.

New Perspectives can be found on Amazon and also through links through Facebook on my page Antique Iron Media. More links can be found through my publisher House of Honor http://www.houseofhonorbooks.com

As always I greatly appreciate your support!

Another Successful Franklin Drive

Photo by Doug Edwards

The third annual Juky 4th drive was a great sucess yet again. Tractors numbered around 60. I counted tractors in Nortonville and there were 52 parked during the rest break.

Our community is so fortunate to have so many antique tractor enthusiasts. Franklin always has drawn a large number of tractors for the 4th of July celebration. Even during the pandemic, tractor drivers braved being out and about. High fuel prices, this year, still didn’t keep that many away.

We drew in drivers from all over central IL. Locals from neighboring towns of New Berlin, Auburn, Glenarm, and Jacksonville were in attendance. Some traveled further from Golden, Elkhart, Morrisonville and Hamel.

While I counted, I also took note of tractor brands. Oliver dominated this year. Harvester and Deere were about tied by the numbers represented. This year had a good showing of AC. There was a couple Fords, A Case and a Ferguson in transit

Doug Edwards walks the line during the rest break at Nortonville

Our host Doug Edwards led us on a picturesque journey through the countryside, south of Franklin. After our break in Nortonville, the caravan made it’s way back to the Josh Adkins farm.

Photo by Doug Edwards

Josh and his crew had prepared a wonderful lunch with all the trimming. I didn’t take part in the meal this year, but I’ve yet to hear complaints of the cooking. I doubt I will. Josh is known to be a master chef.

Great job again this year Josh Adkins and Doug Edwards!

Carl Hauger’s Collection

This year has given me a great chance to put faces to names. I recently met Rob Bush while I was attending AJ’S Tractor Jamboree . I’m still embarrassed by the fact I originally snubbed Rob, but that will be a story we can laugh about for years to come….I hope!

I made contact with Rob through Facebook. We have communicated about several tractor topics and I’m grateful he put me in touch with Joe Lofink. Rob helped me find my current Du-all.

Rob also helped me get in contact with Carl Hauger. Carl has been very helpful answering questions about Shaw and shared knowledge about the brand. Carl also collects Gibson tractors. Since my recent purchase, we share that in common. I’ve learned alot from conversations.

Carl doesn’t live that far away. We have almost met a few times. With our busy schedules its been hard though. Well the stars finally aligned enough it finally happened.

Carl had an Economy he was selling. Steve Farmer was the original discoverer. He showed me the sale advertisement. Steve had originally planned to buy it but logistics interfered. I was telling Digger Dave about the tractor and that I had interest. What surprised me was Digger wanted it too. I bowed out letting Dave make the buy. The only stipulation, I could go on the purchase trip. There was a story for my blog and pictures.

I’ll just start sharing the pictures now. I obviously went.

Carl (right) amongst his collection
Nothing better than a shed packed full
I learned a lot more about Gibson. Carl has a few rare ones
Shaws along the wall
Tiger and a Red E
I may not have my facts correct but I think this is only one left
Self Helper was built by Speedex. They were sent mostly overseas to third world countries
Lawn-alls on the back row. They were only built for a year, 1954

I think tiller steers are cool. I never imagined I’d view a row crop version. This is a Gibson E

Here’s a steering wheel version for reference

These are only the highlights of Carl’s collection. There are so many more. He has Mayrath, Handymans, Grand Haven and all sorts of brands to numerous to mention.

Grand Haven waiting for it’s new owner

Digger and I viewed the collection in the most challenging method, stored away in the barn. It wasn’t easy to get good pictures. Our viewing was A lot of fun that way though! Carl does host an open house in the fall. If you would rather not climb and peruete amongst the tractors, that may be a better method of viewing them.

New at House of Honor and my Review of HomiNed

It’s exciting to be part of the House of Honor family of authors. This summer has already seen great new releases.

Our lady authors Rachel Roth, Keisha Willi, Julia Yeoh and Judith Snyder all have books recently released. The books are available from Amazon. Links can be discovered on the website http://www.houseofhonor.com.

Interesting trivia about Julia. She lives in Australia. She is my first international Facebook friend. Judy is not only a writer but she is also a graphics artist. She designed all four of the book covers pictured above. She also designed my book cover. New Perspectives is currently being proof read and will release soon.

Jack LaFountain recently started a new blog linked to House of Honor’s website and Facebook page. It’s called Author’s Antics, and will be a team effort from all the authors working with the publishing house. Topics will be about writing. Currently we are answering the question as to how and why we write. Jack, Rachel, and I are the three that have been featured so far.

HomiNed has been available through Amazon for a few months now. It was recently released as an audio book. James Lewis Huss, who authored the book, also does the narrative.

My busy schedule doesn’t allow me to recreational read as much as I’d like. I was overjoyed when I discovered the release on Audible. The story is a quick one. It can be enjoyed in an afternoon when you’re driving. At least, that’s how I enjoyed it.

HomiNed tells the story of a not so typical high school student. Although he deals with normal high school issues, Ned is by no means typical. He’s a chimpanzee! Don’t call him a monkey though that’s very offensive to him. Ned is able to tell you his feelings. He can talk.

James is able to tell a entertaining story and teach life lessons at the same time. The book may be more geared to a young adult, but it’s a great read for all ages. I highly recommend the book.

All these great reads and more can be discovered at http://www.houseofhonorbooks.com I will be sharing links here and on my Facebook page Antique Iron Media.

Remembering my Dad and his Dad

I took the time from normal day
To see the marker where you lay
Paying homage to family and you

We weren't always close sometimes unkind
Looking back thoughts of you on my mind
A father's love though hard is always true

The time I lost when you were here
Cause me regret I shed a tear
My disdain I carry as due

As long as I live you're not truly gone
Your memory in my heart, you live on
Moving forward family legacy I bare through

Just steps east in this hallowed ground
Rests your father whom I'm also honor bound
His memory I will carry willingly too

Driving In Memory of Russel

Saturday, June 18th, was a glorious summer day. The weather was perfect to have a tractor drive in memorial tribute to Russel Miner. This event was presented by the Sangamon County Farm Bureau Young Leader Committee.

There was a lot of mingling among friends as the tractors were unloaded at the New Berlin High School. Cindy Ladage was present. She interviewed friends, asking about their memories of Russel. Smiles and stories were in great abundance.

Cindy interviewing a couple knowledgeable characters
Jason Edwards prepares for the journey on his “Whistling Super M” This tractor has a Keystone turbo

The drive departed at 10am. I think…I don’t keep track of such trivial things. We explored the county back roads. Traveling west until we reached the county line. At that point we meandered north and back east, until the caravan arrived at Billie Miner’s home.

Wayne Ladage following me on his 350
The line behind Wayne
The view over my hood

Carl Davis was on the road with us. Here’s some of what he saw

Here are some pictures from Cindy Ladage’s perspective

Digger spent a good part of his day on his 4020. He also worked the track for the tractor pull that evening
Digger Dave leads the way
I have a arrived

After Billie greeted us, we spent more time in fellowship, enjoying a break. Water and snacks were available. Is anyone noticing a theme here? We love to socialize!

Our gracious host Billie Miner during the rest break. Photo by Cindy Ladage
Now there’s a crowd in the know.
Grandpa Russel built that! Eric Smith at the wheel. Photo by Carl Davis

My love of the red power is well known. They were lined up and I couldn’t resist

We returned to New Berlin and the fairgrounds. The return trip gave us some nice landscape to enjoy. Carl Davis remembered to take a picture. In my defense, I’m more cautious about taking pictures and driving. I dropped a phone once doing that.

2022 Sangamon County Fair Queen Meadow Sporror greeted us as we returned into New Berlin. She was also taking pictures with a few of the tractors, after we parked on the fairgrounds.

I boldly explained that John Deere green wasn’t a great color as a background for such a lovely young lady. She was slightly “put off” until I helped her discover a much more fitting background color.

Well, here’s my take on the day. Thanks to Carl Davis and Cindy Ladage for helping show it with their photography.

Step on over and look at Cindy’s article in her blog Traveling Adventures of a Farm Girl. I’m sure her story will be up soon. A link will be established through the group Antique Iron Mafia

Prairie Days Show

Another successful Prairie Days Tractor Show was held, in Pawnee IL, Saturday June 11th. This year was one of the biggest anyone could remember. There was a good amount of tractors on display.

This year there was a large amount of Lawn and Garden tractors added. We can thank Carl Davis for the majority of Lawn tractors. Digger Dave Kemp and I contributed three to the line.

Larry Boblitt hosts this small one day show. What makes it more special is the tractor games featured. Operators compete in a blind tractor drive, chain pile competition, draw bar tap. Slow race, and quick start race.

Enola would have won if she had stopped sooner!
I hope Jessica and I don’t lead the Mafia as blindly as we drove (lol)
What’s your hurry Donnie? The last guy wins
Chris whispering “Just a little further Carl, you can beat Rick”
This was the slowest slow race I can remember in Pawnee. Carl won as an owner, Chris took the victory on Carl’s tractor

This year there were some pretty unique cool tractors on display. This beautiful Aluminium Hood shined like a priceless jewel.

This restored beauty is a 1930 Catterpiller twenty.

This tractor is a one of a kind. It’s a Rawlings! Jerry doesn’t even remember when he finished building it. Kind of a Johnny Cash one peice atta time thing.

There will be more about this unique tractor in an upcoming article.

Carl Davis works for Eli Bridge and it was only fitting to get his picture with the Ferris Wheel set up near by. I took several, but this one is my favorite

Besides the activities and play time, this was an opportunity for fellowship. Many of us brought our lawn chairs so we could sit and visit.

Of course a show is never “christened as good” unless Carl Davis falls asleep. Photo by Don Nowak

Doug Edwards of Edwards Tractor Restoration and Antique Iron Media became proud sponsors for this event this year. We are both happy to support this fun show. Larry awarded a plaque to our group in appreciation.

Photo by Sherry Hinds

The plaque was a team effort. I’m proud of the Antique Iron Mafia for coming out and supporting this show. I look forward to next year.

Authors note ~ Unless otherwise noted in the caption, a majority of the photography credit goes to Jessica Basford for this article. I took a few pictures, but Jessica’s camera work is top notch. She was foolish enough to entrust me to “hold” her camera when she competed in the blind race. I couldn’t resist a few shots getting her in the lens. More of her great photography can be found in our Facebook group Antique Iron Mafia.

“Tractor” Pilgrimage to Ohio

This is a definition I discovered… Pilgramage‘ is often used to describe an individual journey through life, sometimes as a general description of personal growth and exploration.  However, in an overall context, the journey is not always religious

Mecca’ a place regarded as a center for a specified group, activity, or interest.

These two words work well for this article. Ohio seems to be a mecca for me concerning lawn and garden tractors. I have made three pilgrimages to obtain tractors for my collection.

The first trip occurred in 2015. I found, via Ebay, a 1966 Case 150. Matt Kiesel, from Alvada, had the machine up for bid. The winning bid earned my Christmas present to me that year.

Not only did I acquire a nice add to my collection, I made another “tractor” friend. It was very enjoyable meeting and visiting with Matt. We still keep in touch through Facebook.

The second journey occurred last year. I had purchased a Shaw Du-all, on auction, that sparked my interest in that brand. Rob Bush had posted a picture of a beautiful restoration Du-all that was at a show in Portland, IN.

I had made comment on the picture how nice it was and hopefully my Du-all would be half that nice someday. Rob informed the R12T was for sale and put me in contact with the seller.

As I was east bound, to Thornville, I couldn’t help to wonder what kind of collection Joe Lofink would have. Shaw tractors aren’t that common. I felt fortunate to be purchasing such a nice one. Why would he be willing to let it go?

I wasn’t disappointed. Joe’s collection is amazing! I didn’t get to see everything, but what I did view was mind boggling. I’d like to go again someday and spend more time visiting.

1951 Shaw Du-all R12T

Tiller steer tractors are just something of a wonder to me. I have thought that since I saw one on display at the American Tractor Museum in Perryville, MO. I told myself I’d have one someday. Evidently, I needed to be more careful who else I shared this with. My spy network had their eyes open and my friend Steve Farmer found one for sale.

1951 Gibson D

Obviously, the tractor was in Ohio. Bob Julio from Spencer was selling a tractor that had been in his family since it was purchased new. Bob had done major overhaul work on the little tractor making it a great find.

I had learned two important lesson on my previous trip to Thornville. 1) one day marathon 1000 mile trips are long and tiring. 2) renting a trailer would be cheaper, on gas than dragging an empty trailer out bound. I also could rent an enclosed trailer for security and weather protection.

I can’t report the trip to be boring. I was chased by a weather front going. I dealt with rain, construction, and rude drivers, but it was well worth my time.

Bob Julio had a beautiful little slice of countryside and as usual I enjoyed a great visit and made another friend. Bob is currently restoring a 73 AMC Javelin. The car brought back memories of my youth. My mom and dad own two Javelin while I was growing up.

Bob gave me a little bit of a heart attack. He took one look, at the 5×8 trailer, saying “I hope the tractor fits in there” Funny Bob! You’re a millwright, you better know how to read a measuring stick! It was interesting loading a tractor with a 51 inch axle width through a 49 inch opening. It worked though! The door was the only issue, and not that big of a problem.

It ain’t got no steering wheel!

The Gibson is in Illinois, and a big hit for the people to see. I debuted the tractor in Bushnell on Memorial Day Weekend

Shaw Du-all and Gibson D on line at Bushnell photo by Nick Menke

Do I only get three chances to find treasures from Ohio? Only time will tell. Hopefully, the genie in the bottle has more wishes….from anywhere for that matter.