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    Farming machinery
    most reliable friend

    by Delbert Trew
    Delbert Trew

    Although I officially retired in 1985 from owning cattle or farming land, I forgot to quit working. Between keeping the ranch grounds clean and mowed, as well as the museum lots and the Eldridge Cemetery, summertime keeps me hopping.

    The other seasons are spent repairing all the above and working in my shops. In addition I fight mesquite and cedars and continue extensive rainwater harvesting projects.

    With only me, myself and I to do the work I stay busy at trying to stay out of a rest home. However, with age creeping up, muscles and bones not as strong as in the past, I find myself depending more and more on my best friend Jose Kubota.

    Memories of my father, an old cowboy who didn't mind working but would spend a half-hour catching and saddling a horse to prevent walking a hundred yards, I find myself depending more and more on Jose when I start a job. Each time I take a shovel to hand, I pause and look to Jose to see if somehow he can help me without straining or sweating.

    My friend Jose can lift or move anything I want to move. He can dig a hole or a ditch, make a hill or plow the ground. Roads can be repaired, cedar trees removed and fences built with only the push of a few levers. He loads and unloads, carries and fetches, lifts and dumps, digs, fills and smooths out any bumps I overlook in my work.

    Jose never complains, stops to rest, text or answer his cell phone. He never talks back, takes breaks or siestas. He has no domestic problems, ornery children, time table or job definition gripes. He is happy with the current economy, and his bad habits are zero. He doesn't worry about social security, liability insurance or the latest change in immigration laws.

    I just have to remember to check his oil and fill his tank with diesel occasionally.

    As a genuine card-carrying charter member of the Southern Engineering Society, I sometimes build original equipment to help Jose do his job. I can design, cobble and scrap, make innovative improvements and create unique tools to help Jose perform faster and easier. The Kubota company would be amazed at my line of home-built equipment.

    No, I have never patented anything. It's hard to patent something made from thrice-used scrap iron gathered from a rusty junk pile and put together with welding that looks like the wild turkeys roost there. It is interesting to watch visitors try to hold a straight face when I show off one of my innovations.

    I have learned to never, never smooth, grind or paint my invention or try to make it look better. If it just works I am happy. If something looks and works really good, you better be careful or you will end up making it for a living.

    Delbert Trew
    "It's All Trew"
    March 1, 2011 column
    Delbert Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can be reached at 806-779-3164, by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by e-mail at trewblue@centramedia.net. For books see DelbertTrew.com. His column appears weekly.

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    This page last modified: March 1, 2011