Every year, since the creation of the Antique Iron Mafia, I have shared insight about the respect deserved by owners displaying on a show line. The public owes gratitude to anyone willing to make effort to restore and present our farming history for viewing. Remember there is a great undertaking to present a tractor or other antique item. Many have taken on their projects as a labor of love and simply ask nothing in return for your enjoyment in viewing. Here are easy rules to bare in mind during attendance of a tractor event.
** Look with your eyes! Do NOT touch!
Many of these beautiful show quality tractors have undergone many painstakingly long hours to become what they are. There is also a cost factor. Paint and parts are very expensive!
** Stay off and keep your children from climbing on the presented equipment
There is nothing more disrespectful than climbing up on a tractor and / or messing with controls. This is also very unsafe! This could be the cause of accidents. Also leaving switches on that should be turned off can cause damage. Even though you may have operated, or you have one of the display of your own, does not give you cause to mess with someone else’s property. If there is a dire need to feel the seat and touch, at least ask. The owner could be nearby, watching you!
I have witnessed people walking along the line up letting their children hop from and climb on each and every tractor along the way. Again this can cause damage. It is also very unsafe, the child could fall. These are agricultural artifacts, not a playground.
The final point I’d like to draw attention to won’t be a popular one. I have actually been witness / and victim. I’m sure many fellow collectors can agree this practice should end. Everyone has their right to opinion. This right doesn’t give license to criticize. People will actually call attention to flaws and inaccuracies. I have actually had rude comments, sadly from fellow tractor owners. Unless you are judging for a blue ribbon or considering purchase, maybe it would be best to guard against negative comments. Good natured teasing is one thing, I admit I will do as much. Blatant critical is far worse and can be seen as hurtful.
I have a friend that owns a Farmall H. There is a certain peculiar dent in the fuel tank. The owner will never repair the dent simply because it’s a fond memory. The previous family member that owned the H always fueled with a can. The dent was caused by the repeated leaning to tilt the heavy can.
Simply, if something doesn’t interst you, move along and find something that does. Not everyone has the same tastes and views. There’s nothing wrong with that.
I’ve been roped into having my opinion expressed on equipment I didn’t find of my interest before. In those cases I have simply stated, two factors. My opinion doesn’t matter and I have nicely as I can remarked it not being something I’d collect. However I will celebrate the peice and enjoy learning about it. It’s taken some time to learn for me, but it’s not necessarily about the tractor, it’s the fellowship involved with people in the passion.
Let’s have a great, exciting, friendly show season!