“It’s not easy being green,” sang Kermit the Frog of Muppets fame. But really, it is, especially if it’s a John Deere tractor.
Kristin Gilpatrick, Marketing Manager for the Wisconsin Historical Society Press and I trekked off Saturday to the capitol of green for a week—Davenport, Iowa. We attended the 2016 “Gathering of the Green” convention along with about 3,000 others from 40 states, Canada, England and Sweden
The convention was dedicated to John Deere antique tractor restorers, collectors, and those who, as kids on the farm, had fallen in love with a green John Deere Tractor and never got over it.
Lovers of Green spent last week attending historical and technical workshops where they could learn some of the skills necessary to make an old two-cylinder green tractor run once more, or merely stand looking at a John Deere, high wheeled wagon filled with ear corn, and remember picking corn by hand and filling one of those wagons. Countless exhibits of antique John Deere tractors, plows, corn pickers, combines, and more brought back tears, memories and stories. Oh, so many stories.
Saturday night, 600 of these green lovers listened to me talk about the first tractor on the Apps farm. It wasn’t green, but a bright, shiny red, Farmall H. I got a polite “boo” for that story.
I went on to talk about the values gained from growing up on a farm, and how they never leave a farm kid. I even got a round of applause when I stated one of my dad’s favorite sayings: “Just because you have a lot of education doesn’t mean you know anything.”
It was a great evening—I must say I haven’t seen so much green in one place in a long while.
THE OLD TIMER ASKS: If you grew up on farm, what was the color of your first tractor?
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Writing Workshops for 2016
Telling Your Story Workshop at Wild Rose Library, Saturday June 11, 9-4. Call 920-622-3835 to get your name on the list as enrollment is limited.
Telling Your Story Workshop at The Clearing in Door County. Friday, August 12, 9-4. Call 920-854-4088 to get your name on the list.
March 22: 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Writing Wisconsin Waterways, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Lecture Hall, 227 State Street.
April 2, 1:30 Soldier’s Grove Library.
April 5, 6:30 Heritage Hill State Park, Green Bay. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
April 9, Fort Atkinson Library, 1-3:00 p.m. Whispers and Shadows.
April 14, 12:00 p.m. Wild Rose Hospital Auxiliary Luncheon speaker. Farm Stories
April 17, 7:00 p.m. Lebanon Historical Society and Dodge County Geological Group, Watertown Senior and Community Center, 514 South First Street, Watertown. Whispers and Shadows.
April 19, 6:00 p.m. Union Grove Library. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History
May 26, 7:00 p.m. Richfield Historical Society, 4128 Hubertus Road, Richfield, WI Whispers and Shadows.
June 7, Cambria Library.
June 11, 9-4 Writing Workshop, Wild Rose Library. Telling Your Story
June 14.9:00 a.m. Keynote speech. Country Heritage Day, St. John the Baptist Church, Montello. Barns of Wisconsin.
August 9, 6:30 p.m.. Evening. Winnebago County Historical Society. Oshkosh Library. Ag. History
August 12 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County.
August 20, 10:30-11:30 am. Waupaca Annual Arts on the Square.
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street