Birth of a Collector

Author Photo
By Mel Boone

Very rarely do I get acceptance from fellow antique tractor collectors. I’ve decided that the reason is probably the obvious. I’m a woman in a man’s hobby. Yes, I know. Heads and eyeballs are going to roll with those words, but I can’t help it. I’m not bashful about pointing out the obvious. It’s a man’s hobby, therefore when men find out that I’m a collector too, they for the most part, won’t and don’t take me seriously. The have this smirk on their face like I’m pulling a joke on them and then act like I don’t know anything or don’t exist.

For those in the tractor collector community that do accept me, they take time to ask what kind of an influence I had to get into this hobby. Well, I’ve never been into telling a short story. Just hang in there if you’re willing to keep reading.

When my grandpa started farming back in the 1960s, he started out with a John Deere A and an International Little Genius 2 bottom plow. Before long, he added a couple more John Deeres, a model M and a model 60.

By the time I came along in 1975, the M and A had left the farm. Their replacement was a 1973 Massey Ferguson 165. The 165 and 60 worked side by side from 1974 up until about 1980. At that point, the 60 was traded in for a used 1978 Massey Ferguson 285 diesel.

I was just shy of my fifth birthday when the John Deere 60 was traded in. I don’t remember much about it. However, it must have left a mark on my subconscious without my realizing it.

For as long as I’ve been going to tractor shows, which I started attending at around age five or six, I’ve been fascinated with John Deere and Massey Ferguson tractors. At every show, the first thing I go to is the tractor area to look for those two brands.

It’s not that I don’t like any other brand. I really do like them all. As an exhibitor myself, I believe we bring our tractors for the same reason, we are proud of what we have and want to show it off.

I know why I’m attracted to Massey Ferguson. It’s what I remember Grandpa farming with. I’m proud to have the 165 that he bought new sitting in my shed. My fascination with John Deere … well, there’s just something about a two cylinder engine that is music to my ears. I know the haters all too well. “Not enough cylinders under the hood to suit me” or “It’s the wrong color”, I’ve heard them all.

Let the haters move along the down the row of tractors. They don’t have to stop and look at my Massey or my John Deere B. I know in my heart the reason I love Deeres. It started many years ago when a little girl fell in love with the sound of her grandpa’s John Deere 60.

Published on Apr 19, 2016