Sandbox or Shelf?

I have often visualized a conversation with my grandfather if he were still around. I would think he might find collecting farm equipment interesting, if not peculiar. I’m sure he would understand and probably admire the preservation of our ag heritage. He, however, was a very practical man and viewed farm equipment as a tool. I’m not certain he would understand ownership as a private museum collection.

Grand dad held a classic look he would give a person, looking over the top of his glasses. His facial expression would determine his attitude depending on anger or simply him being perplexed. I can picture that look and even hear him ask “you’re going to do what?”. I highly doubt Grandpa would understand the concept of a tractor drive. I could hear the added quip “We have cars and trucks now. Why?”

Now a plow day? That would reach his realm of comprehension. Getting together a group, of tractors, to turn the earth is something he even took part in. Plowing may have been somewhat of a social engagement, but I doubt it had been viewed recreational. They worked together to get a needed task accomplished. That wouldn’t be seen as a “play” time like modern day.

In honor of my ancestry, I termed my collection sandbox toys. I’d just as soon operate the three Farmalls doing tasks they were intended for. I’m thankful that my H has been restored to show room presence. My Super C and 300 both are very parade presentable too, but that shouldn’t mean they no longer get “down and dirty”! They’ll wash.

Theres no fun in a toy set on a shelf to only be admired. I enjoy going and participating in a show. That is only one way to enjoy tractor ownership though.

I’ve operated a tractor many times thinking about the two Shaw men that ran the type equipment before me. Reflecting on memories of my childhood and recalling stories of the past just heighten the experience. I was to young to work in the field with Grandpa. I did get to work beside my dad a little though.

I knew dad understood the joy of Ag heritage preservation though. He was bitten by the collectables bug the same as I have been. We went to plow days together before he passed, but at that time we only had lawn and garden tractors. There was unspoken agreement we both wished we had a tractor and plow. It makes owning one now, bittersweet for me.

Another pleasantry is sharing the joy that the tractor experience brings. Besides being antique tools, tractors symbolize heritage, family and friendship for me. I hope I’m not the only one feeling that way…

Photography credit for the picture with me on the Super C goes to Corey Edwards. The gentlemen pictured are Doug and Jason “red manager” Edwards in the still photos. Kerry Periman is operating the C in the video.


My H was restored by my friend Doug Edwards. Any restoration work needing done…he comes highly recommended.

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