In yesterday’s post, I began with the great news that I’d had the offer of a home for the Pony. Today I’ll take you back to the start and explain how I got into this “tractor business” in the first place.
I love to explore, nothing major, but to walk in the woods, or poke around in an abandoned log cabin is what I classify as fun. That desire to explore is what took my son Andy and I into the woods not far from here on a nice, sunny day last October. During that hike, deep in the woods, we discovered the Pony. I thought, Hello, this is pretty cool! The forest had essentially closed-in the tractor with bushes and small trees growing around and even through it. It was very well camouflaged, which helped explain why after many years it still sat unmolested. The elements had taken their toll, but this little tractor was still intact and appeared to have all of its basic parts. On the side of the tractor was the manufacturer’s name, Massey Harris, and on the nose the model name, Pony. The Pony isn’t a full-size farm tractor, but more a half-size tractor and because of that, kind of “cute.” We gave the tractor the once over and then went on with our hike, but from that day, the fact that that little tractor was sitting there and that I had “discovered” it stayed in my head and kept coming back to me.
Once last winter after a snow fall of several inches I walked back into the woods again to check on the Pony, and she was still there, hibernating and covered with the fresh snow fall. I took a few pictures, and I’ve included one with this post. It was on that trip that I think the thought first occurred to me that it might be fun to track down the owner of the land and see if I could buy the tractor. I gave no thought to what I’d do if I did buy, it just sounded to me like a good idea at the time.
But, as is often the case, other things got in the way, and I didn’t get around to starting the search for the owner until spring. Then when I finally decided to do something, I noticed that the land was up for sale. I called the realtor and was told that a sale was pending, and in light of that, the seller was in no position to sell something that had become part of the land and, therefore part of the sale. The deal did eventually go through, but repeated phone calls to the realtor yielded only a promise to pass my name and number along to the new owner.
By this point I was into May, and my next effort was to see if I could get the new owner’s information from county records. Voila, I found a name and address, but the new owner was a corporation, so no person’s name or phone number, just an address for the corporation. It was at this juncture that I decided on a course of action that would begin to bring that dog house into view that I mentioned in yesterday’s post. Without my wife, Cindy’s, knowledge, I put $50 cash along with a sale agreement into an envelope and mailed it to the corporate owner. That was May 31.
I started watching the mail box like a hawk, nothing the first week, then nothing the first month, and then the weeks just kept rolling by. I finally stopped really watching for anything. What eventually happened turned out to have nothing to do with the mailbox at all. On Sunday July 25, I had just returned from my morning bike work-out, and before going in to shower went up on the front stoop to water a plant. I actually started pouring the water before I noticed an envelope had been squeezed in under the pot, so before I could pull the envelope out it was a bit damp. I looked at the envelope and could see that it was the envelope I had sent and written on it were the words “Good Luck.” That sounded promising, and on opening, I found my sale agreement signed and dated by a representative of the corporation.
Unbelievable! Excitement, bewilderment, fear (How will I explain this?), what next?