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.houseofhonor.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.houseofhonor.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.

Big Fun at the Club House

The views from inside Spoon River Valley Antique Tractor Clubhouse

Spoon River Valley Antique Tractor Club held their second annual Memorial Day Weekend show on Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th. I was informed the show size doubled in attendance. Jim Demery, the club president, thinks they will need a larger venue if the show keeps growing.

This years feature tractor was Oliver and Wheel Horse L&G. Oddly there was only one Oliver representing the feature. Wheel Horse tractors could be found everywhere!

John Deere was represented with the greatest number ag tractor wise. There were roughly 3 to 4 International Harvester on both days. A Ferguson was on display on Saturday and One Allis Chalmers

Garden tractors brands represented were, Wheel Horse, Case, Cub Cadet, John Deere, Roof, Handyman, Gibson, and Shaw.

The Historical Society had a nice display set up centered around two old time wagons.

Antique Iron Mafia was well represented. Carl Davis, Digger Dave Kemp, Nick Menke, Dan Davis and I had our own little time out area surrounded by Carl’s display. That way we could be kept somewhat under surveillance and control.

We went for a drive to show off the tractors. Bushnell is quite a nice little town to cruise and enjoy the neighborhoods. The garden tractor games were fun to watch. The balance board looked like quite a challenge.

I made an attempt but failed. I guess I was supposed to use a tractor. Carl Davis was successful but was disqualified. They didn’t buy the invisible tractor story we were selling.

Someone washed this 1066 with too hot of water, it shrank! Another beautiful custom. It was even a diesel and the shift levers were correct, just like the big machine

This sharp little cement mixer was actually in operation. Nick and I waited patiently but never did see any ice cream made.

This John Deere H had a proud owner. Start them young!

There were two hot food vendors to choose from. One choice was wood fire baked pizza! Which was delicious

An Amish couple was set up selling wonderful food items like cookies, jams, pies and noodles

Of course there was a few flea market items available for purchase.

As always the best part was reuniting with old acquaintances and making new friends. Just like any other show the people are what make it great.

Saturday’s crowd was larger. Attendance on Sunday still held it’s own. The Club wrapped up the day with an awards ceremony.

I’m looking forward to next year. Thank you, Spoon River Valley Antique Tractor Club for a great show. You are all marvelous hosts

Author’s note ~ Thanks go to Jim Demery and Nick Menke for photography for this article

A Day in Oregon

If you have never been to AJ’s Jamboree you are missing out. What’s going on you ask? Garden tractors everywhere!

Andy Hinrichs has been hosting this event for quite a few years now. I didn’t find out just how long, but his son AJ has led the parade since he was 7, he’s 16 now.

There are several events planned throughout the day. A parade of tractors starts out the day My phone was charging so I didn’t get pictures, that’s the hazards of dual use. My phone was also my GPS.

There is a plot to discover your garden tractor muscle. After the first round of plowing the ground was leveled off, packed a little, so people could plow again. Who says you can’t go over plowed ground again?!

Some of the plows are pretty sharp creations. Jeff Kluewer had this sharp little implement behind a John Deere 332.

This was another sharp outfit to watch work

This little creation didn’t make it to the dirt. The Cub it was mounted on wasn’t cooperative. The tractor had carburetor issues. You’ll have that some times.

Andy Hinrichs has the spirit of Mark Twain. Reminiscent of Tom Sawyer, he conned around 20 to help gravel his driveway. The tractors worked like bees at the hive and did a great job spreading rock.

Photo credit Carl Davis
Photo credit Carl Davis

There were other events to participate in. A missed the tractor drive to the railroad bridge. A auction that benefits the local 4H kids sold some nice items.

I’ve seen and even been in a few slow races. Now these guys know how to go slow! I mean check your speed by a calendar slow. I posted a video in the group Antique Iron Mafia. One driver made a scuff mark on his tire to prove he was moving.

Check out these custom pieces This is an AC WD that has been washed a few to many times

Or for those with a more modern taste in custom work. Check these two out

Photo by Carl Davis
Photo by Jeff Kluewer

I think this Cub has a good enough foot print its stable and won’t turn over with the narrow front

This is the only Cub I’ve ever seen on steel.

Photo by Carl Davis

I like tiller steer tractors these two caught my attention. Someday I’ll have me one….

Mayrath aren’t real common. I’ve seen pictures, and know of one in Nokomis. This is the first one I’ve seen without the body tin work

This Shaw Du-all was there. Ironically the owner’s last name was Shaw. Unfortunately the owner isn’t related to the creator of the tractor.

Photo by Jeff Kluewer

Andy has a pretty nice collection of all kind of tractors, primitives, agricultural tools, in his barns. He opens the doors to let people explore and discover.

There was so much to see and do all day long. The best part was reconnecting with old friends and taking the time to make new ones. I personally can’t wait until next year.