Horsing Around

Kylie Periman and Candy

I became one of Kylie Periman’s fan following after watching her compete in a horse speed show. I’ve known the young lady her whole life anyway. Her family and I have been friends for quite a long time.

Kylie has a special way with animals. I watched her admirably as she went about her activities. She has a very close bond with her horse Candy and its shows.

The two are a formidable competitor team. Kylie told me it hasn’t always been that way. It took time and patience to develop how well they work together. She laughed and confided that Candy can do all the work now, she just hangs on for the ride!

Photography by Katrina Periman

I doubt it’s that simple but Kylie does make it look easy. Candy is a specially good horse. These two where destined to be together.

Photography by Katrina Periman

I haven’t watched the team compete in the flag competition yet, but, her father, Kevin told me they dominate. Candy is a short little horse and Kylie rides tall in the saddle, She has good reach for flag placement. It also helps that Candy can control her stride to counter balance and keep her leaning rider safely on the saddle. I’d say that’s a winning combination.

Kylie patiently answered my questions about horses. She demonstrated her knowledge and the sharp young sixteen year old actually taught me a few things. She recently purchased another young horse. Kylie has plans to slowly retire Candy as her new horse matures and can take more of the competition burden. I doubt Candy will totally go “out to pasture”

Kylie shows Delcetto in a halter show, her next rising star Photography by Katrina Periman

Candy is a 11 year old paint that stands 14.1 hands tall, Kylie explained she could technically be considered a pony. 14.2 and over are horse height. Candy makes up for being height challenged.

Kylie waiting for her turn to shine in the arena

The two had a great night competing when I was along. Their first pole run earned high ranking. They had their best run on the barrels and then followed up to top that. Candy was awarded her favorite treat, several Starburst. Kylie also shared her strawberry sundae with Candy.

Kylie had a follow up remark as Candy was being prepared for the homeward trip. We were debriefed on how the night went and she closed by thanking her sponsors. Mostly her mom, Katrina, for buying a new truck to pull her horse trailer.

Wheels of Time Show 2020 @ Indian Creek Farmstead

I have always been a small size show supporter even before the COVID-19 crisis. Larger shows are great, but can be overwhelming to take in and see everything. Smaller shows have a more intimate appeal.

The venue is also a consideration when choosing to participate. There are two shows in Menard County, IL. I like to participate in simply based on location. Indian Creek Farmstead has definitely become a a go to choice.

http://www.indiancreekfarmstead.com

If family fun is a factor. This venue should become a high priority. John, the owner, has created a site for everything country. There is a playground,

hayrides, flowers, food, live entertainment, I don’t do it justice in description. Simply it’s a pleasant experience!

John caters to a diverse clientele and still feels he can expand. I briefly spoke with the busy man and he informed me he would like to build a tractor pulling track and host that type of event.

I became familiar with this venue a couple of years ago, when the farmstead hosted their first Wheels of Time show. The show is three in one, motorcycles, cars, and of course tractors.

I’ve observed that car shows and tractor shows are two separate controlled events. Every car show I’ve been to seems that it’s about getting a trophy. Once they’re handed out BOOM! all the cars are gone. I walked past a information area and the lady working asked me if I’d voted on best of show. I looked at her and shrugged. She remarked “Oh you must be one of those tractor people” I had to smile when she further stated ” I don’t get why you’re not competing!” I tried to explain that tractor people aren’t like that, but I don’t think she understood.

Show line~ photography by Jessica Basford

Every combination show the tractor people are just laid back hanging out like it’s a reunion, well mainly because it is. We just brought the tractors along.

This year there were new faces among old friends. We are just a big happy family, for the most part.

We don’t compete on who has the best looking machine. Sure theres hassle on what brand is better, but that’s good natured normal. I like looking at the cars, but like all my tractor friends, we don’t necessarily feel one is better than an other. If we did it would probably be good natured brand bashing like we do with our tractors.

I will be featuring a car owned by Antique Iron Member Larry Richie on my new YouTube channel soon.

Red power dominated the show line

This year there was around 18 tractors. Carl Davis brought some nice vintage lawn and garden for viewing. That was a nice addition. Carl is another interview I will be featuring soon on YouTube.

All in all, we had a great relaxing day. Carl Davis, as usual, was the most relaxed of the crew.

Independence Day From the Tractor Seat

I’m honored to present a guest writer on the blog. Cindy has given me opportunity to guest write on her blog “Traveling Adventures of a Farm Girl”. Now she has graced my blog with another take on July 4th, in Franklin ~ Rick

By Cindy Ladage

There is something very American about celebrating the 4th of July from a tractor seat, and that is how a group of antique tractor collectors celebrated this past Independence day during the Franklin Tractor Drive. Doug Edwards and Josh Adkins families had planned the event with assistance from Rick Shaw and others.

Leaving from Josh Adkins place and heading to the Franklin square, a group of tractor drivers headed out to celebrate the day. Franklin is famous for it’s burgoo. In fact, the Lions club building , on the square proclaims that fact boldly on the front of the building that Franklin is “Burgoo Capital of the World”!

Every year, except this one because of COVID-19, burgoo is served during the 4th of July. From what I could find, burgoo has American origins and is thought to have been developed in Kentucky

Celebrating the 4th on a tractor is a very American idea because tractors are a very US invention as well! In fact, the first tractor was developed in the village of Froelich, Iowa by John Froelich who invented the first gasoline powered traction engine. The Froelich tractor company later became part of the Waterloo Engine Company that went on to become John Deere.

The word tractor was first used in the US as well! Although there may be some argument, most agree that the word was first coined by W H Williams around the turn of the century while working for the Hart Parr Co in Charles City when writing copy to describe a gasoline traction engine. He shortened the word to tractor and a new word was coined

So on the 4th of July, a truly American Holiday, around 70 tractors of all makes and models completed a 30 mile trek through Morgan County, Illinois countryside on a tractor drive. Many tractors had American flags flying adding to the patriotic spirit. Perhaps the most patriotic tractor of the day was the Case Spirit of 76. Also known as the model 1570. An article in Heritage Iron states that approximately 200 of these were built although no exact number has been determined.

The hot July sun, tractor collectors, and the love of old iron on the 4th said it all. An Independence Day celebration for the record books

Thank you Cindy! Your historical accounting for the day was VERY educational. Cindy has written many articles for various specialty magazines and papers. I’m very grateful that she patiently answers questions from me, and discusses ideas to make my writing better. I’d like to consider her a mentor for all she’s done to help me. I enjoyed our time working together doing “press coverage” this past holiday. ~ Rick

Pay it Forward

My 47 H almost sat out this year’s tractor drive. I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to promote the drive through video and still photography from the seat of an antique tractor. I’ve already lost a smart phone attempting to take pictures and drive at the same time. My equipment is expensive and I’m kind of a klutz.

My friend Wayne Ladage was attending the event, with his two brothers Keith and Kim. Wayne’s sister-in-law Cindy was also along but she was doing “press coverage” Cindy was my special guest in the “press coverage truck” I admit to being a nosy reporter and simple math didn’t add up. 3 gentlemen and 2 tractors. I soon found out my calculations were off by one more driver. Keith had hauled so another fellow could drive, but that’s another story reported by a professional that I admire.

Wayne had hauled a John Deere B for Kim. I asked Wayne what he intended to do while everyone was off having fun. In typical gentle Wayne fashion he just shrugged. At this point, I informed him my H didn’t have a driver and I’d be highly honored if he’d take the journey and give the old girl some exercise.

After a couple of unlikely excuses and prodding from his brothers, Wayne decided he would just as well do that. Keith told me a little later it was good to get Wayne to go. Even though he has been collecting tractors for a long time, this was the first drive he’d actually drove a tractor in.

Wayne Ladage drives through Franklin

That made having Wayne drive my H that much better! Paid forward with a excellent return. I hope everyone had a great time on July 4th, 2020. This has been a strange year and we need more fond memories.

Droves of Drivers, Franklin 4th of July,2020

2020 has been a year for adjustments to a new normal. Most every social event has been canceled due to social distancing guidelines. It’s hard to keep country folk isolated though, as my opening remarks revealed. Franklin, IL. historically has Independence Day festivities. You can reference more information in my archive by reading Hometown Country Fun.

Josh Adkins

Tractors came from everywhere! The beginning number was close to 80. There was even a semi tractor in the parade around the Franklin square. The parade people did out number the crowd watching the tractors pass by, but not by much. Several people sat along the street and enjoyed the spectacle. Many people, that lived along the drive route, waited relaxing under their shade trees at home. Americana resembled somewhat of a norm, for a time. Here is a link of the tractors passing through Franklin

The population of Nortonville tripled for a short period. Here is a video of the crowd during the rest period.

Here’s a sampling of pictures Cindy Ladage took.

Thank you Clinton Park and Joe Moeller for video graphic assistance producing this article. Clinton has a YouTube channel and uploaded video of the drive from the operator perspective. Clinton or maybe “Cletus” can be found on YouTube @ Cletus the hillbilly.

Still photography credit goes to Cindy Ladage “Traveling adventures of a farm girl”

Remember, if you have a tractor and want to restore it. Call Doug @ (217) 473-1856 “He shines your heritage!”

Another Form of Journalism

It dawned on me that a good journalist uses more than written words to tell a story. There are other tools of presentation available. I’m going to do another feature of my photography work in this article.

I’m also going to share one of my secrets, that I discovered, to enhance photographs. Instagram is actually another social media platform. Personally, I use it as nothing more than an art gallery.

Here are examples of my enhancement work. Its glaringly obvious which is the enhanced workings in this grouping. The filters nicely draw out highlights and change coloring effects. Some effects bring the subject front and center.

Here’s another example. Notice the edit brightens up the underside of my truck. “Oliver” the mechanic is easily seen. That concludes my tutorial. Now, I hope you enjoy the pictures.

I have so many pictures of the Edwards family. I’m sure they are use to my stepping away to capture candid shots. Doug refers to me as “Dusty Lense” when I go into photography mode.

“Digger” Dave Kemp commissioned me to take pictures of his second generation Deere collection. His son Brandon assisted. I didn’t shoot the black and white photo, I only did the edit work. Obviously one shot is unedited. Professional Photographers can generally stay out of the picture.

Finally, the last grouping are just random photos I’ve taken. My Instagram account is listed Rick_antiqueironmedia if you would like to become a follower and see all my filtered work there.

More Fiction

It seems my novelist skills were well received. Some of the Facebook group have encouraged me to create further content of this manner. I will continue to stay within the parameters of my blog main topics though.

Strangeness in the South 40 Continues.

I didn’t tell anybody about my encounter when I got to the barn lot. Who would believe me anyway! I had been there and was still processing the event. Had it been nothing but my imagination? The rock thrown, hitting my plow shear, had left a chalk like mark though.

I didn’t get harassed about coming in with darkness quickly falling. The old reliable M didn’t have the best lighting, which made it hard to see at night. The bitter chill was overtaking any warmth found as the sunlight had retreated. It was time to call it a day anyway.

I did overhear a mumbled comment about pushing the old tractor to fast. My racing and bumping, creating a clatter, was unusual. Vintage and antique equipment were treated with great respect on this farm.

I had great trepidation, realizing I had to go back and finish plowing the south 40. The duties still needed completion regardless of my attitude. The next morning, I swallowed as much of my fear as I could, and headed back to the field.

The morning went by with no incident. It was slightly warmer as the sun rose higher in the pale sky. My eyes were constantly scanning all the scenery and my head was constantly swiveling in every direction possible. I was seeking any abnormalities hiding in the darker forrest. It was difficult to stay focused on the task at hand. The electric adrenaline feeling had returned, I sensed I was being watched again.

My nose soon alerted me to an offensive smell. It was stronger when I neared the tree line. The pungent odor of wet, rank dirty dog combined with the smell of dead animal attacked my sinus. A skunk would have smelled more pleasant!

I had planned the plowing so that I had worked my way out to the edge from the middle. Each pass drew me closer to the trees. I dreaded my actions after last night’s bizarre occurence. The tree line felt as if it was closing in, making it easier for the villianice specters to reach out and grab me off the operator’s seat. My imagination had gone into overdrive.

Fortunately, the cornstalks weren’t hampering the plow. I wasn’t real comfortable with the idea of stopping to clean out a plug anyway. I felt vulnerable enough slowly moving in the open. This was one of the very few times I would have rather dealt with the noisy confinement of a cab. There probably wouldn’t have been any more safety in a enclosed area. That was nothing more than an idea of false sense of security.

A rock zipped past my ear with fierce intensity. The projectile had been close enough I felt it brush the side of my head. One inch closer and I would have been struck in the eye. My immediate reaction was to mash the clutch pedal bringing the unit to an abrupt halt. Angrily, I looked all around, but observed nothing out of the ordinary. Now it wasn’t the reaction of fear, I was mad!

After calming myself, I assessed the situation with more reason. The only place of concealment the rock could come from was still a good distance. Whoever, or whatever, made that pitch had more power and accuracy than a major league pitcher. Intelligence to know vulnerable points was also demonstrated. This knowledge was rather disturbing.

I heard the sound of another tractor in the distance. The volume was increasing. I observed another plow unit head to the field. I sat back down and eased out the clutch, the old M started forward with a slight strain. I had my doubts, but maybe I’d be safer with the increase in numbers.

The plowing force soon increased again. Shortly there were three tractor and plows working in unison. A three bottom plow pulled by another M and an old John Deere fell into the work. The old A’s distinctive chugging sound overtook most of the created human noise pollution.

The electric feeling, of adrenaline, faded in short time. I started to get more comfortable now that there was companionship. It never occurred to me the unpleasant odor still lingered until I observed one of the other operators sniffing the air. He gave me a puzzled look, pinched his nose and shrugged, indicating he found the smell strange and offensive. He asked me later, when we had stopped, if I had hit a skunk.

Calm down!

Its March, the time of year to look forward to the tractor season. Everyone is starting to wrap up winter work on the show collection or pulling tractors. Anticipation of the new year, event planning and travel schedules are usually being finalized. This year is facing a delay.

I’m sure everyone is aware of COVID-19. Anyone that hasn’t must already be practicing social distance. I, personally, have done some research. This virus is dangerous and common sense DOES need to be exercised. The mass hysteria happening is ridiculous! The media doesn’t help by sensationalizing worse case scenarios.

I’m writing this on the evening of change. The next few weeks will be difficult for Illinois people. The governor has declared executive orders closings public business. New protocols have been implemented to combat the virus. We need to isolate ourselves as much as possible.

My job isn’t exactly work from home. The transportation industry needs to keep working. Modern grain hauling has become automated and isolated. ( reference my previous article Ag Hauling then & now) My coworkers and I should be able to work somewhat risk free, providing we exercise common sense. Not all America can lock down.

2020 has started out very challenging. We need to remember our Lord doesn’t give us more than we can handle. This too shall pass, making us stronger.

Fiction Fun

I need to get out more and discover material to report. For a change up, I’m going to give my following an opportunity to review my novelistic talent.

Strangeness in the South 40

Our farm operation was several years behind the times. Our neighbors planted straight rows using GPS and enjoyed the comfortable controlled environment of a modern tractor. We didn’t always have the luxury of a cab, and guided by dead reckoning. The tractors that did have cabs were nothing more than a noisy box to shelter from wind and wet. I had learned to layer clothing to utilize my own body heat. I actually preferred to drive an open station unit anyway.

There was just something about the feel and smell this evening. The chill fall air was pleasant against my only exposer, my face. I cold smell the rich earth as the dirt glided and rolled through the three bottom plow I was pulling. I was operating one of my favorite tractors. It was built several years before I was even born, but it stood up, proudly, to the duties asked of it. The old Farmall M purred like the well tuned machine it was. I admired the shine of the red hood before me. Hints of warmth came from the exhaust stack that lightly glowed from the work strain. It was a wonderful evening to be farming.

Dusk was starting to darken the pale clear sky now. The colorful pastel canvas displayed shades of blue, green and hints of red. It wasn’t quite dark enough to really need lights, but shadows were starting to creep from the timbered field edge. Darkness was beginning to claim the landscape. This particular area of the farm could give a particular sense of forbidding. Tonight revealed to be one of those nights of eeriness.

A turn around was coming up. The end row was shaded by the timber edge. I noticed corn stalks were jamming up my middle plow shear, which would need kicked out before it plugged tightly. I rolled to a stop and idled the tractor down. Sighing dejectedly, I stood and stepped backwards down to the U shape of the drawbar and stepped further down until I was on the ground. I took out an ear plug and let my hearing adjust to the surroundings. It was silent, just way to quiet. The only sound was the tractor engine idling. This was very peculiar. My eyes gazed slowly and carefully around, but I didn’t realize anything extraordinary.

I should be hearing crickets, maybe some woodland cadences, but….nothing. My footsteps loudly crunched as I maneuvered myself to clear the plow shear. My body felt like electric adrenaline was quickly flowing, this caused me to go on high alert. I couldn’t shake the feeling as if I was being watched. I quickly bent to my task, the sooner I could get back on the operator’s seat, the sooner I could move on.

Tink! A rock the size of my fist hit the shear to my right. I jumped barely missing bumping my head against the plow frame. As I turned to scan the tree line another large rock zipped inches past my head. There had been power propelling the object. I heard a whizz sound as it past, impacting the ground with a hard thump behind me.

“What the…” I exclaimed not finishing my thought. A VERY large dark indescribable shadow moved directly in front of me. Out of the darkness a man shaped form materialized. This was nobody I recognized! I judged the figure to stand at least eight feet tall!

A very primitive looking being with menacing dark eyes stood just beyond my tractor. Dark hair covered a majority of the naked body. This was very decidedly male, I’m not going into detail on that, just trust me. He was extremely well muscled and presented a athletic body a wrestler or football player would desire.

We stood within a short few yards of each other. I was trembling with fear, but I stood my ground trying to hide my terror. I could feel a penetrating gaze as if I was being measured and evaluated. Finally the mighty beast, nonchalantly turned and walked away as if I were being dismissed. I heard a loud crunch behind me and I quickly turned to see a large fleeting shadow disappear into the woods on my right. There had been more than one!

Shakily collecting myself, I climbed back in the operator’s chair on wobbling legs. I was done plowing for the evening. In fact I picked a higher gear to get back to the farmstead.

Change, Change, Change

It’s funny, to me anyway, how interests change concerning the antique tractor passion. I can’t remember not having love for tractors. I’m pretty sure I was born with it.

Financial resources probably have a great determination on what involvement a hobbyist can have. I’m sure storage is also a factor. I started out as a farm toy collector. That never has changed though. The toys are just bigger!

My first wife was patient enough to tolerate my hobby. I collected 1/64th scale, then, due to not having the room to display larger scale. A large collection of small scale can be overwhelming to show off in a two bedroom trailer. We discovered a social network when I started selling and trading pieces I lost interest in. I found getting sale tables a great way to change up my stuff. My ex liked the fact I made a profit and the collection wasn’t a draw on our tight budget. She found a great outlet to sell crafts. We both enjoyed the discovered new friends that shared our interest.

I’ve always had a few 1/16th scale. I lost a major amount of those in a fire when I was younger. Some of my peices survived the fire and I find myself fortunate for that. My 1/16th scale collection has increased again.

Now the tractors displayed are tractors I have owned or at least driven.

I like the peddle tractors, but as of yet don’t have any gracing my display. If ever I come across one I have a place in mind to show it off. I’ve learned to never say never. I finally quit saying I’m done buying collectibles. I guess I’m just done saying “I’m done!”

There was a gap where I disappeared from being public, but my passion was still there. My second wife had to tolerate my growing pains in collecting. At this point, I started collecting lawn tractors. My first show tractor was actually purchased for parts. Turned out my parts tractor was in far better condition.

That little Simplicity has gone through so many styles and changes over the past years. It never had the same look. It took a few years before I realized there were other people that were as crazy as I was. I finally started exhibiting at shows 10 or 12 years later.

Like farm toys, I started collecting full size antique tractors. I like to say I collect 1/16th and 1/64th for real now.

I didn’t expect having a cool toy hauler was going to expand me into yet another aspect of enthusiasts. (Does anybody that reads my musings really believe that?) My latest addition even has it’s own following of enthusiast. Everybody can find a golf cart to ride around at tractor events, but not me! I had to be different. I have a Cushman truckster.

Maybe change isn’t the right phrase of analysis in my case. Maybe it’s more a expanding into new horizons.