We are very proud to announce MTF's January 2012 Featured Member of the Month, so please join us in congratulating...........Deerlope !!!
Our newest Featured Member of the Month, Fred, is a retired pipe fitter who hails from Norwood, New York. He and his lovely wife Bonnie, have shared in Fred's own words, 32 years of sheer happiness. They have four children, Amanda, 49, Michael, 46, Jo Michelle, 41 and James, 38. They have also been blessed with eight grandchildren.
Fred, who is 69, proudly served our country in the U.S. Air Force from 1960 to 1965, and the U.S. Army Reserves from 1975 to 1992. He retired with 23 years of service.
Here's a list of Fred's machines: Kubota 5040, RTV 900 w/tracks, John Deere 332, Bolens - (3)1886, 1455, 1250, H-16, 900, 853.
Links to some of Fred's builds/restos and tractor pics:
Trading material - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
The after - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
Off to work - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
My Fleet - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
Pre fitting - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
Not perfect - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
Fred, who joined MTF in December 2008 as member #20931, was kind enough to chat and share with us.
How did you come to join MTF?
I was looking for Bolens information.
What are your favorite forums?
The Bolens, and the For Sale Forums.
What do you like most about MTF?
Friendliness of the members, and the sharing of knowledge.
What is your favorite tractor or piece of equipment and why?
Kubota 5040 because of enclosed cab, heat, ac, cd player.
While you chose your Kubota as your favorite, it's pretty obvious you have a deep appreciation for Bolens. Could you share your reasons why you like them so much?
I have some education beyond high school and that is as a journey level pipe fitter. Regardless of what trade I chose, the education taught me how to get from a book what I need to know and to do a job. When working on the Bolens and totally restoring them, I came to appreciate the engineering that went into them. How well they are made and yet were kept simple at the same time. The steel in those tractors are not just your run of the mill stuff. Show me any tractor that size made today that will last that long.
Is there a tractor or piece of equipment you'd love to own someday?
Yes, a 42 inch Gannon Earthcavator.
Tell us some of the tasks you use your tractors and/or equipment for?
Lawn and garden, forestry, making maple syrup, beekeeping, plowing snow, pulling other people out when they get their tractor stuck.
Could you describe your property for us?
40 acres, 98% wooded, bordered by Trout Brook. House sets back 800 feet from the highway surrounded by pines and cedar.
Is there something you'd love to build or restore someday?
A hydraulic dump trailer.
Most memorable tractor moment?
When I heard my 1455 run after a complete rebuild.
Earliest tractor memories?
I grew up on a small dairy farm and my father had horses. However, he died when I was only 14, so I went to work on neighboring farms and I think the first tractor I ever drove was an 8N Ford.
Do you have any other hobbies or interests that you'd like to share with us?
I'm an avid woodworker. At the age of 51, I cut the logs, helped saw the lumber and built our home, along with much of the furnishings inside. Made maple syrup for ten years, but due to health problems had to stop last season. Last year we made 126 gallons of Maple syrup. Now, we have honey bees and with the help of my wonderful wife, we are slowly learning more about them. We did harvest approximately 85 pounds of honey this season. We also heat our house with wood which I cut, all of it from my own land. We also raise blueberries and do gardening. I like to hunt whitetail deer, along with target and clay pigeon shooting. I reload all my own ammunition.
You're interests and hobbies all seem to tie you close to the land, Fred. Along the lines of being self sufficient, in many ways. Is that something you've made a conscious effort to do?
I am the eldest son of 9 children, with only one sister older. We were very poor, so if the family wanted something, it was make it, or go without. I was the son that all the brothers and sisters turned to. My Mother also. My Grandfather was still alive on my Dad's side, and I learned a lot from him. One thing he taught me, that I shall never forget, was how to temper metal. Using a coal fired forge and a hand crank blower. For me, it was getting close to the land to survive. I have eaten rabbit prepared every way you can think of. I still can't look at canned Spam in the store. Being in a war many miles from home made me appreciate the land even more, so I have never left it for very long. You take care of the land, and it will take care of you. I couldn't help but think as we were eating some pickled string beans for lunch a few days ago that we work at gardening all summer, and eat it all winter. We are going to have to give some frozen blueberries away. We have more than two people can use in a year. I also wanted to show my grandchildren that not everything has to come from a store.
What do the other people in your life think of your "tractor" hobby?
They love going to the barn and seeing the old tractors. My wife thinks it's a great hobby - it keeps me occupied and out of her kitchen.
It's been a pleasure chatting, and getting to know you better, Fred. Thank you. And once again, congratulations.