It all started with a present
The end of the school year in June 1964 was the start of an adventure. My schoolmistress gave me a green box with a red tractor and trailer for my graduation from nursery school to primary school.
You could cut out the box which had a scene of everyday life in the farmyard. It was a simple drawing of a boy running towards his father who was coming back from the fields on his tractor.
My family in le Coudert
My family comes from "le Coudert" in Corrèze (in the Massif Central). Every year I spent my summer holidays helping in the fields and living the country life.
Hay making, reaping, threshing … the small farms in this poor region of France carried on with the traditional crops, methods and tools.
1998 in Seine et Marne
In 1998 I criss-crossed the urban and rural districts of Seine et Marne (South-East of Paris). I often passed an agricultural machinery distributor, Payens, near Rozay en Brie (Brie is where the cheese comes from). From the road, I could see a rusty, bent, row crop tractor stuck amongst the other wrecks and scrap.
On closer examination, it turned out to be a 1948 McCormick Farmall H.
Without really knowing why, I decided to buy it "as seen".
The restoration started by returning the tractor to its original configuration.
A McCormick Deering drawn plough and reaper / binder of the same vintage were restored to fit it out for work.
When I moved to Étableau St Martin (near le Grand Pressigny) my mother gave me a green cardboard box.
My mother had kept it and I now knew what had pushed me into buying that rusty old Farmall H tractor.
Every time I go for a ride on my tractor or when I take part in a rally, I have to admit that I become a child lost in his dreams.
Text et photos - Christian Rondard
Contact Christian RONDARD ChristianR@FR37.net