Adapting to a New Normal

2020 has been a crazy time. Five months ago, I expressed thoughts before going into an imposed lock down. Here we are going into fall, and there still isn’t a end to the drama. Science has collided with a political agenda, all being sensationalized by the media.

The predicted “delay” to this year’s tractor season has turned out to be cancellations. Major shows, fairs, auctions and other events we enjoy were regulated to the point they could not safely be held. Hard decisions had to be made, plans being made for next year….Hoping there can be a next year! Budget and revenue being a major factor. Social distancing has required us to adapt.

When there is will, there is a way. One would think the tractor passion would see an all time low. Tractor collecting is thriving and surviving! Maybe it’s a defiance, or it’s just ingenuity. Maybe it’s both, because country folk don’t just hide. We work and play hard.

One way we have adapted is the use of modern technology. Online auctions are very popular. Maybe this reason is why collections holds worth value. I’ve confessed, to the fact, my tractors are viewed in an investment perspective.

Video technology has given opportunities to show and discuss. I’ve watched many live action broadcasts from several sources such as Aumann Vintage Power and our group Antique Iron Mafia has been doing them. Social media can be a wonderful tool. I have recently become involved with a video project for Classic Tractor Fever. YouTube is even more popular now. Technology has given opportunities to see and still be safe.

There is plenty of reading and pictures available. We can still recieve tractor news via magazines Internet technology brings our bloggers who write and share pictures to enjoy. We need to continue supporting this source.

Tractor drives have become popular. My friend Cindy Ladage remarked “This is the year 2020 answer to tractor shows.” We can enjoy our old iron and fellowship of other enthusiasts while still maintaining safe social distancing. Drives are also a great way to not only look our heritage over, but experience the sounds, the smell of fuel and smoke, and to see the unit move.

Very few shows are being held this year. I did get to display once and have read reviews and viewed pictures of other shows. This is an example country folk don’t just hunker down and hide.

I imagine many peices, of collections, are getting tweaked and tuned. All the parts dealers, I’ve visited with, tell me business has been booming. Everyone is using their free time to catch up projects that were put off. There may be new equipment on display in 2021 that hasn’t been shown simply for the fact the restoration has finally been completed.

My friend Doug Edwards has many projects in his shop at Edwards Tractor Restoration. Business is good!

My tractors get “played with” on a regular basis. Thankfully the farmstead, where I keep them, has chores for them to perform. The plow shears were shined in the big garden. Weeds and grass get mowed. I have a blade for road maintenance. My tractors don’t sit idly by waiting for another year. It gets lonely playing alone though.

However you choose to stay safe needs to be respected. Social distancing seems extreme, to me, but I can respect no invasion of personal space. The future outlook shows we will need to continue to adapt. Sadly, I have my doubts, our lives will return to how we once lived. Stay safe! I hope to see everyone when the crisis finally calms down.

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