They came from throughout the United States to little Dyersville, Iowa this past weekend, to the National Farm Toy Collectors Convention. Farmers and their sons and daughters. Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. Babes in arm, in strollers and hanging on the big hands of their farmer fathers. Little kids and big kids (some in their 70s and 80s). All interested in toys, mostly tractors, but trucks and plows and combines—John Deere and IHC, Oliver and Massey-Harris, Allis Chalmers and Ford, and others too.
Buying collectibles, meeting old friends, and swapping stories—oh the stories. Stories from the country. Stories of corn that can’t be harvested because it’s too wet. Stories of milk prices that are too low. Stories of illness and hardship. Stories of a year ago, and many years ago.
Caps and sweatshirts that advertise something, or make a statement. Especially John Deere Caps. John Deere caps everywhere, sprinkled among the IHC caps, and even one lonely Oliver cap. And a favorite gray sweatshirt with but one word in large script across the front “Useless.” I asked the fellow wearing the shirt if it was true. He gave me a big smile. His wife gave me an even bigger smile—I assumed it was his wife.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: It isn’t how many times you fall down that makes a difference; it’s how many times you get back up.
November 14, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Sheboygan County Historical Research Center, Sheboygan Falls Library. Blue Shadows Farm.
December 7, 1:00 p.m. Sugar Creek Camp, Ferryville, WI. Stories From the Land.
December 12, 10 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Fireside Books, West Bend, WI. Book signing. Presentation at 10:30 a.m. Blue Shadows Farm.