Friday, January 06, 2012

Bye Bye John Deere

January 6, 2012

Our special issue of True West, Icons & Trailblazers: The Year In Review is on the way to the printer via The Cloud. One of the things that has revolutionized our process is The Wall of Truth, where we put up the spreads for the next issue and debate the flow and tracking of the entire book. Everyone gets to participate and we have seen huge improvements (we call them "trade-ups") in terms of better graphics, better ideas and better content. Can't believe we ever did an issue of True West any other way.

Here is the guy who made it happen, Mr. Ken Amorosano, The Father of The Wall of Truth:

You can see at the bottom left the progression of the icon cover. We even considered doing Quanah Parker on the cover (see mockup just above the rows of Clint). Yes, that's Juni Fisher in layout at top.

This morning my neighbor Joe Yaeger came over and helped me start the John Deere for the last time. My cousin Mike Richards from Des Moines, Iowa sent out a truck and trailer to cart the family heir loom back to Iowa. We pulled the aging thumper out onto our driveway for once last spin around the desert.

My cousin Mike has a farm near Lake Okoboji where the tractor will be treated with loving care. It was time to pass the sweet machine (A Model B, Serial No. 8, 1941) back home where it belongs. It was an honor to have it. My dad and I rescued it at a farm auction near Thompson, Iowa in the seventies. I paid $200 for it and it had a cracked block. My father had it restored at Webster City, Iowa and then shipped out to Kingman. I inherited it from my dad when he passed in 1998 and I had a garage built for it (far, background) but it was open and rats and pigeons were doing damage to it.

Both Mike and I grew up riding with our grandpa on this tractor, so it has special meaning to both of us. I'm trying to put together a Bell Family Farm Legacy Tour for this spring and hopefully we'll get to to see this Thompson, Iowa icon in its proper glory.

"Nothing runs like a Deer."
—John Deere slogan

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