By Lisa Boonstoppel-Pot
It sits, alone on the laneway, deteriorating a little every year. Tires are flat. Seat is missing the cushion. Grease has coagulated into a dirty mass and rust is creeping along every metal joint.
I see this tractor every week at my son’s farm, where it’s parked until its owner, Brennan Yundt, picks it up. It’s the first tractor Brennan’s father, Papa Joe, owned and the first one Brennan and his brother Baydon ever drove. They used the tractor for all the plowing, cultivating and seeding on their 89 acres west of Cranbrook. When Papa Joe passed away, he gave the tractor to Baydon. When Baydon passed, young, he left the tractor to Brennan.
“Papa Joe always took us for rides on the hay wagon with the kids,” shares Brennan’s wife, Chelsey. “One day it will be restored and new memories will be made with our kids and grandkids.” The Yundts live in Alberta so the Massey Ferguson 64 dieselmatic (which debuted in 1958 according to research) may sit for many more years yet.
Robins have filled the engine with straw and twigs for their nests and raise their young under the battered hood.They perch on the steering wheel while laying hens cluck underneath, finding shade for a rest.
Until it gets restored this “big, little tractor” is retired but useful in unexpected ways. ◊