space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From Our Readers
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Marinette Sports Hall Of Fame 2019
* Cougars Crushes Eagles for MONLPC-Small Lead
* Wolverines Hold Early M&O Conference Lead
* Tigers Take Home D3 Team Titles at Shawano
* Bulldogs Get On Winning Track With Victory Over Northern Elite

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

From My Window

Issue Date: July 31, 2019

Jane Thibodeau Martin

Recently I attended a tractor pull in the tiny town near our home. To give you Peshtigo readers some idea, Halder is about like Harmony was 20 years ago " a church, a sleepy bar, a ball field and a community center. That about covers it. But one weekend recently, it was rocking and I got to be there to enjoy it.

Due to the fierce storm on Saturday, a tractor pull was rescheduled to Sunday, alongside a kid's baseball tournament, also impacted by the storms; and in the community center, a pancake breakfast fund raiser sponsored by the local snowmobile club. Once we exited church at 11 a.m. it was a veritable traffic jam in this normally quiet backwater.

We decided to get some lawn chairs and take in the tractor pull. I counted about 60 tractors, and a nice crowd composed mainly of friends, neighbors and families of the competitors. And because I have now lived here a year, I can happily put names to a lot of these faces.

Most of the crowd, little kids and senior citizens prominent among them, was focused on the competition results as tractors of different weight classes pulled the weight sled down the dirt track. A crew of about five men groomed the track, announced competitors and results, ran the weight sled and flagged the pulls. Little to no wasted time or dead space, and each tractor was running and in place when its turn was announced.

My first thought was that the people running the competition knew what they were doing, and the competitors were prompt and organized. It was nothing like the multi-day horse shows I attended for years with my daughter when she was competing " where nothing started or stopped on time. It used to drive me to distraction that we'd be idling back at the barn after her event was estimated to start 45 minutes late; about the time we untacked her horse and settled in to wait we were notified to be ringside in 5 minutes. Hours and hours of boredom followed by ten minutes of exhausting frenzy to arrive on time for her slot was the rule.

But I spent more time thinking about the history of what I was watching. The tractors were, overall, a vintage collection. Many were built in the 40's " during the war years. The oldest present was a 1929 John Deere " telling me that our garden tractor comes from an extremely venerable lineage. But unlike polished antique cars at a car show, most tractors did not sport immaculate paint. In fact, many looked pretty rough around the edges " flaking possibly original paint was common. These were not fancy show tractors, they were well-loved and well-used beasts of the field, working machines.

I was struck by the gyrations needed to drive the tractors. The bouncy, metal seats had no backs to ease the tractor driver's backsides " and I imaged a day of work in the fields would have been pretty hard on the farmer's spine. It took a lot of strength and reaching to operate the shifters and other controls " leaning and yanking because ergonomics were not a priority for the manufacturer. Some shorter people were stretching on tiptoe to run their tractors. The "man" had to fit the machine; the machine was not flexible to the man.

The tractors were loud, too, as they strained to pull the weight sled. It explains why the old farmers are often hard of hearing. It is more and more common for me to notice farmers and those just mowing their yards to be wearing hearing protection " a smart precaution.

My brother-in-law pointed out some rare tractors " one manufactured by Montgomery-Ward, and several "Co-op" brand tractors along with a Cockshutt. A few guys stood around oogling these rare beasts but these unusual tractors generally looked like the more common ones " like they'd been standing out in a field for 70 or more winters, which some of them probably do.

There were several extended family members competing with their five or so family tractors, and one grandson competing grandpa's tractor. I was also pleased to note one young woman competing, and holding her own. These are family events, and it seems no one likes to sell an old tractor out of the family. I think most of these competitors no longer farm for a living, although some may; but they have real affection for their metal companions and beam with pride when an operator's skill prevails in a weight class. Because make no mistake, this is not solely about horsepower. The tractor driver's skill makes a huge difference in who prevails.

In a very real way, these same tractors, and the farm families who operated them, made a difference in World War II. Their efforts fed the families of the United States as well as the military personnel fighting in far-flung theatres. They would not have been able to do what they did with horses and horse-drawn equipment; we don't think often about their contribution but it was critically important to the resolution of the war. Pretty hard for a soldier to fight on an empty stomach.

I'd like to think these country events will continue for the next century. The old tractors look like they are up to another 100 years. I just hope the country people here in Wisconsin keep the fire alive in their hearts to keep competing them.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
09-19-2019Front Page
Ellen LaMarche, Cuts Ribbon At New Coleman Tower Park

09-19-2019Front Page
Speakers Assured No Cuts Pending for Library Funds

09-19-2019Front Page
Cedar Corp To Give Breakdown On Water

09-19-2019Front Page
Wagner Considers Letter to Michigan Town of Lake On Back 40 Mine Issues

09-19-2019Front Page
PFOS Again Issue At Water Sewer Meeting

09-19-2019Community - Wausaukee
Pembine Firemen to Give Presentations to Students

09-19-2019Community - Wausaukee
Speed Limit, ATV Use Discussed by Town Amberg

09-19-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Town Garbage Pickup Starts Sept. 26

09-19-2019Community - Wausaukee
Beecher Children's Christmas Party Dec. 14

09-19-2019Community - Crivitz
Town of Stephenson Names Rogers To ETZ Committee

09-19-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Harvest Fest Proceeds to Scholarships

09-19-2019Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam at Crivitz

09-19-2019Community - Crivitz
17 at Even Monday Cards

09-19-2019Community - Coleman
CHS 1969 Class Holds Reunion

09-19-2019Community - Coleman
Machickanee Cast Set for October Comedy

09-19-2019Community - Coleman
Lena School Enrollment Increases by 35 Students

09-19-2019Community - Coleman
Suring School Annual Meeting Set for Oct. 28

09-19-2019Sports
Marinette Sports Hall Of Fame 2019

09-19-2019Sports
Cougars Crushes Eagles for MONLPC-Small Lead

09-19-2019Sports
Wolverines Hold Early M&O Conference Lead

09-19-2019Sports
Tigers Take Home D3 Team Titles at Shawano

09-19-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

09-19-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

09-19-2019Perspectives
From My Window

09-19-2019Obituaries
Kathy L. Axtell

09-19-2019Obituaries
Hilma E. Backman

09-19-2019Obituaries
Beatrice Baldwin-Baird

09-19-2019Obituaries
Betty M Bereza

09-19-2019Obituaries
Arnold DeLaurelle

09-19-2019Obituaries
Harvey W. Denowski

09-19-2019Obituaries
Richard M. Duffrin

09-19-2019Obituaries
David Fox

09-19-2019Obituaries
Eugene Francour

09-19-2019Obituaries
Robert J. Gannon

09-19-2019Obituaries
Wayne Grinsteiner

09-19-2019Obituaries
Ed Guseck

09-19-2019Obituaries
William C. Hanson Jr.

09-19-2019Obituaries
Audrey A. Hardy

09-19-2019Obituaries
Paul R. Heil

09-19-2019Obituaries
Ralph C. Kinzel

09-19-2019Obituaries
Elgin A. Karrels

09-19-2019Obituaries
James H. Krueger

09-19-2019Obituaries
Janette Lange

09-19-2019Obituaries
Vernon J. Lindquist

09-19-2019Obituaries
Margaret L. Linsmeier

09-19-2019Obituaries
Doris A. Patterson

09-19-2019Obituaries
Melissa M. Peterson

09-19-2019Obituaries
Gerald Powell Jr.

09-19-2019Obituaries
Patrick T. Russ

09-19-2019Obituaries
Frank L. Schneider

09-12-2019Front Page
Good Shepherd Church and Volunteers Help Cleanup Peshtigo Riverfront Park

09-12-2019Front Page
Pound Board Refers Sikich Audit Results To Authorities

09-12-2019Front Page
County Board To Hear Economic Study Results At Sept. 17 Meeting

09-12-2019Front Page
Marinette Parks Continue To Have Dog, Goose Issues

09-12-2019Front Page
Sheriff Sauve: Deputies Will Work At The Milwaukee DNC Convention

09-12-2019Front Page
$176,750 Donation to M&M Area Foundation Future Fund

09-12-2019Community - Wausaukee
Large Crowd in Attendence Lena Lions 34th Dairy Fest

09-12-2019Community - Wausaukee
Menominee Animal Shelter Annual Dinner/Auction

09-12-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Fall Fest Plan Meeting Sept. 12

09-12-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Back to School Program Brat Fry Fundraiser

09-12-2019Community - Crivitz
Canine Partners Hold Bag Tournament Sept. 14

09-12-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Fire Association Oktoberfest is Sept. 14

09-12-2019Community - Crivitz
Church Has Service at Amberg Sept. 15

09-12-2019Community - Crivitz
CPR Class at Crivitz Bellin

09-12-2019Community - Coleman
Kust Family Presented Century Farm Award

09-12-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board Slates Meet And Greet For Sept. 16

09-12-2019Community - Coleman
Suring School District Welcomes New Staff

09-12-2019Community - Coleman
New Members of the Coleman School Staff

09-12-2019Sports
Bulldogs Get On Winning Track With Victory Over Northern Elite

09-12-2019Sports
Gillett Leads Area Teams at Irish Invitational

09-12-2019Sports
Peshtigo Stands Tall Over Marinette/Menominee in Tri-City Triangular

09-12-2019Sports
Marinette Girls Capture Oconto Falls Invitational

09-12-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

09-12-2019Perspectives
From My Window

09-12-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

09-12-2019Obituaries
Alphonse J. Basak

09-12-2019Obituaries
Elsie Mae A. Bauer

09-12-2019Obituaries
Alby P. Beach

09-12-2019Obituaries
Barbara Bergstrom

09-12-2019Obituaries
Henry A. Burkel

09-12-2019Obituaries
Lynnette Deneys

09-12-2019Obituaries
Robert E. Dreier 

09-12-2019Obituaries
Michael P. Englund

09-12-2019Obituaries
Charles W. Everson

09-12-2019Obituaries
Sharon A. Gignac

09-12-2019Obituaries
Ralph C. Kinzel

09-12-2019Obituaries
Bonnie Kaye Korpi

09-12-2019Obituaries
Sharon J. Larschied

09-12-2019Obituaries
Virginia E. Luisier

09-12-2019Obituaries
Mary S. Pecanas

09-12-2019Obituaries
Dale F. Peterson, Sr. 

09-12-2019Obituaries
Alma M. Rowell

09-12-2019Obituaries
Larry R. Smiley

09-12-2019Obituaries
Fred J. Strojny, Sr.

09-12-2019Obituaries
Mary K. Taylor

09-05-2019Front Page
Town of Peshtigo Home Is Destroyed By Fire Tuesday

09-05-2019Front Page
State Task Force Gathers PFAS Info In Marinette

09-05-2019Front Page
Change Reservation Rules for Historical Days Park Campsites

09-05-2019Front Page
Town Of Peshtigo And DOT Discuss Country Meadows Rd.

09-05-2019Front Page
Armed Robberies Have Been Solved

09-05-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Church Fall Dinner Oct. 19

09-05-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Town Meeting Dates

09-05-2019Community - Wausaukee


09-05-2019Community - Crivitz
Amberg Firemen's Picnic Was A Huge Success

09-05-2019Community - Crivitz
Northwoods Apostolic Starts Town Hall Tour

09-05-2019Community - Coleman
North Country Kickers Start Dances on Sept. 4

09-05-2019Community - Coleman
Corn Silage Moisture Monitoring Available

09-05-2019Community - Coleman
Wabeno Area Players To Host Community Theatre Conference

09-05-2019Community - Coleman
Donates $50,000 to First Responders

09-05-2019Sports
Stegeman Leads Rest of The Area Field in Voting

09-05-2019Sports
Elite Group Battles for Top Spot in TIMESLand

09-05-2019Sports
Crivitz/Suring/Coleman Post Wins

09-05-2019Sports
Area Teams Battle it Out in Invites and Triangulars

09-05-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

09-05-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

09-05-2019Perspectives
From My Window

09-05-2019Obituaries
Douglas J. Brunette

09-05-2019Obituaries
Henry A. Burkel

09-05-2019Obituaries
Gerald R. Farley

09-05-2019Obituaries
Anthony V. Guarisco

09-05-2019Obituaries
Ed. E. Guseck

09-05-2019Obituaries
Herbert Handt

09-05-2019Obituaries
Mary A. Herlache

09-05-2019Obituaries
Earl A. Huebner

09-05-2019Obituaries
Clint Johnson

09-05-2019Obituaries
Shane J.T. Lee

09-05-2019Obituaries
David R. Lesandrini

09-05-2019Obituaries
Milton E. Mitchell

09-05-2019Obituaries
Amber Newbury

09-05-2019Obituaries
Bruce G. Rodeghier

09-05-2019Obituaries
Kenneth M. Sparr

09-05-2019Obituaries
Clarence W. Spencer

09-05-2019Obituaries
Dennis J. Strojny

09-05-2019Obituaries
E. James Walter

08-30-2019Front Page
Good Weather Helps Marinette County Fair Draw Big Crowds

08-30-2019Front Page
Hundreds Visit Remember The Fallen Memorial in Menominee

08-30-2019Front Page
County Board Assigns Parks Duties To Facilities Maintenance Department

08-30-2019Front Page
Major Renovations Planned For Courthouse Complex

08-30-2019Front Page
Wausaukee Okays 2019 Christmas In The Park

08-30-2019Front Page
Audit Finds County Is In Good Financial Condition

08-30-2019Community - Wausaukee
Berge Memorial 189 Mile Bike Ride

08-30-2019Community - Wausaukee
Town Board of Athelstane Rescinds Eye Sore Ordinance

08-30-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Meal Site Closed, Continue Home Deliveries

08-30-2019Community - Wausaukee
Winners in Chinookie Slam Tournament

08-30-2019Community - Crivitz
Beecher Lake Annual Meeting, Potluck Picnic Sat., Aug. 31

08-30-2019Community - Crivitz
Lisa Rowe Named To Replace Robert Mraz As Assistant DA

08-30-2019Community - Crivitz
Brat Fry To Support Homecoming Festivities

08-30-2019Community - Crivitz
West Shore Fishing Museum Social Sept. 1

08-30-2019Community - Coleman
North Country Kickers Start Dances on Sept. 4

08-30-2019Community - Coleman
Chute Pond Bar Benefit Golf Events


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think Congress has too much time off?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2019
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites