For sons of farmers in the Midwest this, “Right of Passage”, occures by the age of ten. Surburban, “Soccer Fathers” usually experience the thrill by age thirty. For me it happened two days ago. After investing in a Garden Tractor, not a Lawn Tractor, I was presented with my first John Deere hat.
I mention the type of tractor because the tractor type determines the “pride of ownership” glow you get with the purchase.
A lawn tractor, the smallest of the Deeres, is used exclusively to mow grass and then only if the area is realitively flat. A garden tractor, the mama bear of the Deeres, will mow flats, banks, and can be outfitted to till, grade, and plow. The papa bear Deeres, of course, are for professional use and are the backbone of most commercial farms.
So when I take delivery and officially put my hat on for the first time, I will have the “Garden Glow”, certainly much brighter that a “Soccer Father” would expect, but I can only dream of the euphoric feeling which comes from the purchase of one’s first John Deere Combine.