It was 35 years ago, but memory of the day is still fresh.
The day 2nd Grader Al Jones of Richlands, NC, 7 or 8 years old at the time, came home from school and saw the new 1982 John Deere 2940 his father purchased being delivered. Al is now an Ag teacher at Richlands H.S. I got connected with Jones this week after I posted a picture and link to John Deere 2940 Tractors for sale at our Machinerypete.com web site. Here’s what Al wrote:
“My dad bought a new 2940, (a BIG jump from his IH 424) a new JD 215 disk (11'-something) a new 4 row Lilliston bedder, and a new set of four JD 71 planters on a toolbar with fertilizer attachment,” said Jones. “This was around 1982. When I got home from school the day it was delivered there were two John Deere dealer rollbacks in front of my grandparent’s house waiting to unload all this stuff. The drivers had been given instructions to wait until I got home to unload!”
“Breathtakingly exciting times for a 7-8 year old!”
“The tractor has been one of the most dependable machines he ever owned and is now closing in on the 7,000 hour mark. I still have the sheet torn from a legal pad where the salesman figured up his deal, I believe the tractor was around $20,000.”
Here is a picture of the 1982 John Deere 2940 today, pulling the John Deere 215 disk. This pic Jones says was taken in 2015:
“It would have been delivered probably in February/early March. I remember he (Jones father A.D. Jones) shopped for a long time, looked at Massey Ferguson (we have a strong local Massey dealer), but he really wanted a John Deere. I have always loved machinery and so I am sure my excitement was what made him ask the dealer to wait to unload until I got home from school. He got the tractor with a canopy and a canvas heat-houser, which came off as soon as the weather warmed up and never went back on.”
“As soon as they were unloaded and gone my grandfather and I took the 2940 for a "joyride," We were both amazed that it had a foot throttle! My dad had bought an IH 424, his first new tractor, in 1967, so going to an 80 HP diesel with power steering, Cat. 2 three point hitch, and live PTO was a huge leap. It seemed positively HUGE next to any of his other equipment.”
“By the time I was maybe 9 or 10 I began to be allowed to run the 2940 in the field. In the spring I would get on the tractor when I got home from school (with strict orders TO WEAR MY SEATBELT!) while daddy fed hogs. I was close enough by that he could keep an eye on me. Another memory: We have one farm about 3 miles away from my parents' house. He wasn't comfortable with me having that "wide" disk on the road yet, so he would move the tractor on say Friday evening and I would work in that field on Saturday. Then he would move the tractor home on Saturday evening. My grandfather's health was not as good by this point and he didn't do much field work anymore but he would drive me to the field and then wait for me to make sure I didn't have any trouble.”
“He passed away in 1992 just after I graduated from high school and for many years afterward I would be working in that field and look across expecting to see his truck waiting for me.”
“I am an agriculture teacher at my home high school (Richland H.S., Richlands, NC) and I went back and got my doctorate in Ag. Ed. in 2013. I don't spend much time on the farm anymore (love field cropping and equipment--livestock not so much!), but I do enjoy my machinery.” Here's a picture of Al Jones' FFA group from Richlands High School:
And still, a full 35 years later, the memory is vivid and forever fresh for Jones of a day in early 1982 when he got home from school and saw that brand new 1982 John Deere 2940 tractor being delivered.
Tractor and family memories mixed together. Powerful stuff indeed.