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For the love of a tractor

Karen Davis is delighted to have an old Farmall model on Luscher Farm


by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - This Farmall H model tractor is grungy now, but it will be a thing of beauty when restored. It will be a major attraction at Luscher Farm.When Karen Davis bounces up and down on the seat of the Farmall H tractor she looks like a kid on Christmas morning who just got exactly what she wanted.

Davis’ delight knows no limit when she gazes adoringly at the antique gem that was just acquired by Luscher Farm. The old tractor is something Davis has had her heart set on ever since she became farm coordinator 12 years ago.

“For so long I’ve wanted a tractor here just like the one Rudie (Luscher) had,” Davis said. “Finally, finally, finally it happened. I’ve been trying to get one for years. I love it so much.

“Every old farm deserves a tractor. A tractor like that is a big link to history. That’s been my mission. I don’t know why. You have to have dreams. But I didn’t want to go to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to get it.”

by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Karen Davis has made the happy discovery that the old tractor is a 'guy magnet.' Luckily, Davis only had to go a short distance down the road to buy the tractor from Jim Kanne — a good friend of Luscher — who worked with him and occasionally had a beer with him. He knows a lot of Luscher stories, which is good because Luscher donated his farm to the city of Lake Oswego.

“I was a friend of Rudie for many, many, many years,” Kanne said. “He left a lot of stuff for me before he died. I drove that tractor until the darn thing froze up and was beyond repair. I scrapped it.”

The tractor was gone but not forgotten, at least by Davis. While the old Farmall was not the one used by Luscher, it is the exact same model.

As Kanne said, “If you put them side by side you couldn’t tell the difference.”

In its heyday, the Farmall was a powerful little farm vehicle, doing all kinds of plowing, pushing and hauling that is necessary on a farm.

by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Sometimes you can really get what you want. Karen Davis did, although she had to wait a long time. This antique Farmall tractor is a dream come true.“It really did all the chores,” Davis said. “Rudie Luscher wouldn’t have anything to do with any new-fangled tractor.”

Kanne has a fine collection of farm machinery, including 15 John Deere tractors and even a 1945 Ford tractor, which he has had since he was 13 years old. But Kanne figured now was a good time to get rid of his old Farmall for the price of $500.

“I doubled my money, so I’m happy,” Kanne said.

If Kanne is happy, Davis is ecstatic. But for anybody viewing the tractor for the first time it’s appeal is a mystery. Perhaps Davis’ love for Luscher Farm is so great that it has given her X-ray vision.

The Farmall is encrusted with so much plant debris and rust that by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE
 -  Front row, Greg Olson, Davis and Faryl Ammon. In back are Brice Anderson, left, and Megan Big John.
Davis has to do a lot of scraping to find the original color of the tractor, which happens to be a startling shade of red.

But Davis cannot only look deep, she is also a visionary. From her seat on the tractor she can see a bright, shining machine, the gem of Luscher Farm.

The old tractor has only been sitting at Luscher Farm for a short time, but it is drawing a lot of love. Davis anticipates no problem in refurbishing the tractor.

Although she is a grandmother and quite settled down, Davis was pleased to note, “This tractor is already a guy magnet. They say, ‘I want to paint it’ or ‘I want to fix it.’ A lot of old-timers like to look at the tractor too.”

The only disappointment for Davis is that the tractor will probably never run again, unless some genius mechanic comes along. Once it is gleaming, she anticipates it being moved to the children’s garden, where little ones can happily scamper all over it.

For now, Davis is happy just to bounce up and down on the springy seat.

“I waited nine years to get this,” she said. “It’s my baby.”by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Karen Davis checks out the under workings of her beloved tractor. As she says, 'Every farm should have an old tractor.'



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