Holy Moses, what a year! I know, I know you’ve been getting these letters from me for years, and I’ll be the first to admit they’ve become boring in the extreme. I mean, what could I say? It was another quiet year of sitting in the damn woods. No trips. No family visits. No accomplishments. You probably felt I’d hit a low point, maybe even worried about me a little when in last year’s letter I signed off with, “If an old Pony cries in the woods and there is no one there to hear him, does he make a sound?” As I reread that I must say, it sounded pathetic.
Last winter was particularly crappy. I set the camera on a tree stump, pushed the 10-second timer and took this self-portrait in January. This is North Carolina for crying out loud! What is UP! In the depths of that horrible winter though, there were stirrings. The land I sat on was surveyed and sold, and by Spring some odd-looking fella in a baseball cap, ears that stuck out like the open doors of a New York city taxi cab and a schnoz only a mother could love started visiting on a regular basis. He poked and prodded, even sat his skinny ass up on my seat. My god he needs to gain some weight, I thought. And that was my first clue that this guy was no real tractor man.
I’ve been getting yall’s Christmas letters and hearing about trips (July 4th parades, tractor pulls, blah, blah, blah) for years. If I read one more letter about how some Pony grandchild with a bored-out engine out-pulled his entire category I’m going to puke. This year folks is my big year to crow. Take a look at this shot of me headin out a the woods in August.
I’m telling you that trip was hair-raising. And me all the time wondering where in the hell I was being taken. Well, the truck set me down in a very nice spot in a woodsy neighborhood, next to a garage and a home (my new home); boy do those words sound good.
Now I could make some stuff up here like y’all do in your Christmas letters. Well, maybe it’s not so much what you make up, but what you leave out. But I’m going to be honest with you. I’m now owned by a moron. Don’t get me wrong, he’s nice and all and his heart’s in the right place, but what he has to learn about tractors IS A LOT! I tell you I’m insulted that his blog is called That Idiotic Tractor. He’s got some nerve. I overhear conversations between this guy and the guy who lives here, Gene. They sometimes talk about an all-powerful being known as The Princess, who from what I hear does NOT have MY best interests at heart.
It’s amazing though, how even a moron, with some good help can actually get things done. Not to brag too much, but at least a part of me, my carb, vacationed in California this year. Wow, my carb came back feeling so refreshed! I think a trip like that would do my whole body some good. Look at it!
After some initial miscues by the moron (oh all right, Bruce from now on) he and Gene got my engine dismantled. Then it was another road-trip, this time over to Durham, so my engine could visit “the baths,” that’s the caustic soda baths friends. Sure, a lot of my flaws showed up after the baths, but between some fine work by true engine guys at the machine shop and then what I have to admit was a commendable paint job by the…ah…Bruce, my block and head are I mean looking good! Check this out. By the way, see what I mean about the ears?
These trips are nice to brag on, but right now I have to admit to feeling a bit out of sorts. My body out next to Gene’s garage, my engine in Bruce’s garage and there’s parts of me floating back and forth between the two. But listen, even though I’ve read in all your letters for years about your injuries (from broken axles to worn-out cranks), Christmas is no time to complain about my ills. I’m incredibly happy with my exciting new life (and hoping your just dying with envy), and I’m so happy I could share my good fortune with you all. Hah, hah haaa.
I want to leave you with just a few thoughts from this Pony’s point of view. During this eventful year I’ve been a keen observer of humans, and certain things strike me as real “difference makers” for them. Taking chances, trying new things, meeting new people are all risky. I see Bruce hesitate all the time with these things, but push ahead just enough for it to make a real difference for him and the other nuts he associates with. So at this Christmas, 2010 I raise a glass of high-test gas to Bruce, Gene, Jim even The Princess for going that extra step, even if it impacted the damn Cost-O-Meter, and changing, I think improving their lives and mine. God bless us every one.