Farmall Promenade: Square Dancing Tractors.

That’s great. via BoingBoing.

My mother’s family that stayed in Mizoo, near Kansas City, when her family upped stakes for Washington during the Depression – my like third cousins once removed or something – had a Farmall that I was allowed to drive the one time we visited. I was maybe eight.

It was exciting becasue I had a killer cast-iron Farmall toy – with rack and pinion steering and hard rubber tires, really excellent – when I was a wee lad. I clearly inherited it from someone, damfino who.

It was something like this one, but less elaborate. I don’t think was a licensed model but it may have been an Ertl. It was pretty old, with some paint worn off. Maybe like this? Or this, but a bit larger.

Sure wish I’d kept it. I had a really nice International Harvester cab-model, too, that was a gift from our next door neighors in Bloomington who had an IH dealership.

Interestingly, after my grandpa died, we found a stack of publicity photos from the turn of the century which were from his dad’s combine business in the Palouse – harvest equipment was too expensive for individual farms to afford, so service companies sprung up that owned and brokered access to the equipment, kept the mule teams, and paid the hands that ran the machines.

The machines were usually hauled around by mules but ran on steam, so my grandpa was both a mule skinner and a steam engineer by the time he was in his teens. One of the pictures shows both the Columbia and a locomotive and train in the far distance along the banks of the great river, on what is undoubtedly the same railbed I passed over when I moved out here on the train in 1990.