When you grow up in a small rural state like Maine.
Where the ability to fix things, keep them going not just plunk down the cash to replace them, an attachment grows. To our Maine cars, trucks, tractors, anything with or without a motor on it.
I have a super M farm tractor I feel pretty fond of because she is older than me.
I have lots of memories on the farm working with her working potato and grain fields. And we grew up together.
Just purchased a International Farmall 656 farm tractor that is color coded. Keeping with the red theme that was used on a hay farm by a Maine state trooper down state. That I never met but had scoped out the iron horse he was letting go of for a reasonable price.
Had it hauled up to the unloading dock they were nice enough to let me use at the Tractor Supply outlet in Houlton Maine.
Had fun driving it home during one of the coldest days of the year with the wind blowing strongly and my colar pulled up as my head shrunk down. But excitement to have gotten the new to me big tractor that I introduced to the “County”. Where farming of all types is big.
I needed a little bigger tractor with more power, a three point hitch to get under machinery and to lift up and over ledge or other obstacles found working around the Maine farm I grew up on and purchase from my three older brothers.
Speaking of my brothers, the car I almost had that got totaled but no one hurt back when I was just getting my license to legally drive at age 15.
Even though when you grow up on a Maine farm you are driving way way earlier than that. From field to field, around the farm with a variety of machinery options depending on the farm season. The length of my legs at the time and if I could reach the brake, clutch and gas pedals or not.
During a good potato year which you could count on back in the 1960’s about every third one, my dad custom ordered a 1967 spring time yellow Ford Mustang. I was two weeks away from making it mine. Because my brothers had their turn in high school.
It was not allowed to be taken to college and used mostly by two of the next oldest brothers when they were in high school. Kinda off limits to my oldest one who drove everything too fast, on the edge of being in not being in total control more often than not.
But Stephen Mooers, a clothes horse was a good wheel man because of experience and little fear.
Lung cancer got him when most figured speed would. Because of too many near misses behind the wheel of something pushed faster than the speed limit or manufacturer suggested.
The Mustang Ford car I waxed, drove around the yard and waited for my turn was not to be.
My brother Jonathan had a 1961 Chevy that would not pass inspection, had house glass for the driver’s side door, no reverse, and those were just some of it’s ills.
But it was what he could afford, got him around the University of Maine campus. Most of the time. Until a breakdown and much needed repairs that could not wait.
He used to park the not so pretty shade of brown Chevy car in low spots of parking lots. To hide, cloak it and to try to be non-descript.
From the eyes of folks looking for current stickers, that picked up on violations in the motor vehicle department rules and regulations.
Dad agreed to let Jonathan take the Mustang out of storage, with the promise of one week it would be returned to the same parking berth.
Unharmed, no delays. The car got totaled in the “Y” intersection of the two Main Streets in Brewer on a Saturday night.
Coming into contact with a pick up moving a little too fast like the Mustang. The frame of the Ford bent and the insurance company signalling with a thumbs down on investing the money to fix it back to driving condition. No one was injured but there went the yellow car in my high school driving pair up.
Have a red jeep that four kids learned how to drive in, that went on lots of trips with that went on to be a loaner to the grown kids before they got their own set of wheels.
As a parent pouring money into the fleet of tired, mileage piling up vehicles while juggling resources to get the kids educated. After that much history with a vehicle, it is hard to just let go and not feel a special place.
Especially after it hits a Maine black bear, the kids don’t roll over and as a parent somehow I give the Jeep trusted with care a lot of the credit.
Here is a picture of poor Sally, the 1998 red jeep that could be parted out but can’t quite do it. Feeling the need to fix and restore because of our history, all those kids that learned to drive with her patience.
(Yes I know what an “E brake” maneuver is and other not so smart things done over hill and dale, in the back seat with this Jeep kids.) Read more about the 1956 Ford “Heatwave” local car legend. We do blog about cars once in awhile in the Me In Maine post thread.
So vehicles, tractors, anything that we depend on or helps us have the freedom to move around and explore Maine. We don’t need the latest and greatest and the longer we use them, the more attached we get to them. Because they are part of our life living in rural Maine.
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MOOERS REALTY 69 North Street Houlton Maine 04730