Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Homecoming, Part 2

There’s been a lot going on since the Pony came home to Primrose Lane.  The new draw bar arrived; it’s been sand blasted, primed and even had a first shot of Pony red paint.  Before going to work on it, I did a test fit on the tractor, and it fits perfectly.  The trip down to Siler City and Jeff, the sand blaster went smoothly.  I dropped the parts off one day and picked them up the next.  Jeff’s mules were there, but he wasn’t.  Over the phone he just said to leave the $35 inside a cinder block next to his work shop.  Amazing what you can get done without even seeing a guy.  Here’s a little montage of draw bar progress photos.

There was one other item I had Jeff sand blast.  When I first found the Pony back in the woods, in its little glove box there were a few miscellaneous items, all corroded, the most notable of which was an old hatchet head.  After Jeff sand blasted the head, I took it into Fitch’s, our local lumber yard/hardware and bought a new, hickory handle for it.  While I was checking out, I showed the boys behind the counter the old hatchet head and told them the story behind it, even showed ’em the photo of the Pony on my phone.  Just thinking out loud I said that I should probably get the head sharpened, and one of them said, “Ya got a guy?”  It took me a second, but translated that meant, Do you have a person that can do that for you?   I said that I didn’t, and with that he flipped open a folder of business cards and wrote down the name and address of Sig Unger, who’s a CEO, that’s right, “Chief Edge officer!”

I just love all the little side adventures the Pony has led me out on, and meeting a CEO back in the woods, just outside of Carrboro was just another.  I followed the directions given me at Fitch’s and found Sig’s place.  As I climbed out of the car, I spotted an old, tarnished quarter in the gravel driveway and considered that a lucky sign.  The place was closed-up “tight as a drum,” and no one answered my knock, but when I got back to the car, the house door opened and there was Sig.  He was congenial, took the head, asked when I needed it and we agreed he’d have it ready at the same time the next day.  I said how much cash should I have with me, and without thinking much, he said “five dollars.”  When I returned the next day, Sig handed me the head and said, “Be careful,” and when I ran my finger over the edge, I could see why.  By golly, I think I could shave with that edge.  As I was leaving, Sig asked if I had one of his cards, and I said, no, so he popped back in the house and grabbed one for me.  Wow, the business card of a CEO!

Over the next couple of days I sanded and refinished the store-bought handle to “Boehmke standards,” and attached the sand-blasted, sharpened head it.  Here are a few of photos of that little project.  Don’t forget, you can click the images to make them bigger.

Now The Princess says that I can’t keep the hatchet in plain sight out in the garage; it’s just too dangerous a weapon to leave lying around.  Actually, if I can find a way, I’m thinking of mounting it somewhere on the Pony.  The two came to me together, so I kind of feel they should stay together.

Well, I’ve kept you waiting long enough.  I know you’re saying, really? For what?  Just about everyone I know has asked me at some point during the Pony’s five-year restoration, “What will you do with it when it’s finished?”  I’ve put everyone off just saying that I wasn’t even going to think about that until I got to that point.  For all of you and I guess even for me, the slide show that follows is at least a start toward answering that question.  The photos that make up the show were taken during the block party that our little town home community had last weekend.   Enjoy the show. 

Ever since first hearing Lyle Lovett sing that song I knew it had to be a part of my Pony’s story.  Have a great Memorial Day weekend and thanks for watching.

The Homecoming

I volunteered at a local farm last weekend during the 40-farm Piedmont Farm Tour.  I had planned on taking the Pony out to the farm and then bringing it over to our place afterwards, but it was cold and rainy the entire day I was out there, so the Pony never made that trip.  I spent an afternoon on the farm guiding people around, making sure they saw all that the farm had to offer, fielding questions and for some time, manning the gate to the “pet the animals” pen.  Every time someone went in or out, the dang goats would try to get out of the pen.  Both kinds of kids were very cute and and it was a fun day.  I’ve shared the next picture with some of you already, but for those who missed it, what follows is a shot of a dozen green eggs I got at the farm.

Version 2

These eggs come from a breed of chicken called an Americana.  Instead of serving them with Dr. Seuss’s ham, we had them with “blue” berry pancakes, a colorful and delicious meal.

When the rain cleared out, I started looking for a day when I could hire a “tilt-back” and have the Pony hauled from Gene’s back to our house for a while.  We’ve got a block party coming up, and I thought folks would get a kick out of seeing the Pony in a relatively complete state.  I called Gary Talbert, the same driver who helped me get the Pony out of the woods almost five years ago.  When we talked and I explained who I was, he still remembered clearly our struggle to wrangle the Pony out of the deep woods that day in the summer of 2010.  Well, this trip went a lot easier, and within the space of an hour, the Pony had made the five mile trip to my house and was ensconced in his new “stall.”

Since Gary handled both the move out of the woods and this move home, I thought it would be appropriate to make a little slide show of both trips.  Gene took the recent photos at his house, and Cindy took the ones at our end.

You probably didn’t notice it, but when Gary tightened down the Pony to the bed of the truck he did it by putting belts around the wheels.  He said he usually reserves that technique for Porshes and other high-end autos, but out of respect for my fine paint job, the Pony got the “high-end” treatment too.

The fit in our garage was a lot better than I had thought.  I had prepared by moving things around a bit, but now as you see, I’ve just got what son Andy calls “your standard one car, one Pony garage.”  The Pony felt a little out of sorts being in his new environment, but as soon as I turned on The Classical Music Station (that Gene always had playing in his garage) the old boy calmed right down.

I’ve prepared the neighbors around here by sending out an email warning them that they will be seeing a new vehicle in the neighborhood.  I sure wouldn’t want our newly rejuvenated Community Watch group to call the police on us!

In other Pony news, its been a long struggle, but the long-sought-after draw bar is on it’s way to me via UPS as I type this.  I feel justified in using that word, struggle, because of the many emails, phone calls, tractor forum posts and some stupid decision making that have been involved over the months.  One of those decisions involved buying a totally useless Allis Chalmers draw bar which doesn’t even fit the Pony.  The lesson learned?  Don’t believe anything anyone says on Ebay.  By the way, I’m not putting that $100 in the Cost-O-Meter, as I optimistically expect to resell it to some AC lover.  I’ll keep you all posted on the restoration of the draw bar, which will begin with a trip out to Siler City to visit the “messing with mules” sandblaster guy…always a fun trip.

I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank my good friends, Gene and Lynne for being so sweet to the Pony and me for all these years.  You folks are just great!  And don’t worry, the Pony already misses the hills and woods out at Wolf’s Pond, so I’m sure he’ll want to get back out there.

And finally, I got the sad news yesterday that The Idiotic Brother’s cat, Cruzy, has passed on to “kitty heaven.”  This is for you Cruzy.

The best kind of cat is the one that picks you,
It can push all your buttons with a mew.
Was it  just the soft fur,
Or maybe the purr?
Oh so many years shared, but too few.

Thanks for waiting so long for this post and for reading it too.
Happy Mothers Day, Mom, and to all the other moms out there.