A Ford 8N Short Story

A sunny day, a return to Texas after one of several visits to Kansas, alas, post-passing of my wonderful mother, Fern Janell (Herrington) (Burkett) Morgan, and the organized last ending of a final “estate sale.”  Stopping by one seemingly final time at the house on Fairchild Street, Assaria, Kansas, I left the “home” place of over 40 years by going south on Fairchild, turning right onto Fourth Street to reach National Highway 81 (U.S. 81) some ½ mile to the west.

It caught my eye:  a 4-sale sign on an 8N tractor – one of the 1000’s made (1948-1953) by Ford Motor Company.  I jotted down the phone number for information and headed on to Texas.  So, began a, long story short, meaningful connection.

A series of disruptive events seemed to deny the possibility of receiving some kind of positive closure for that old 8N, but again long story short, I made a seemingly “meant to be” deal with the man and a few weeks later, the 8N was mine.

Reflecting back now, it seems so important and fitting that 8N is sitting on my 10 acres here in Texas.  First disruptions, closed deal, then not so fast, it can’t happen.  Then on again, off again and then on again with the tractor on my 2-axle trailer headed to Texas.

The sentimentality then set in:

  • a five-minute walk from my mama and papa’s front door on Fairchild Street, there set the 8N;
  • a neighbor man who restores old tractors, little more than a stone’s throw away from my dad’s large garage where he restored/repaired motorcycles.

A good sum of money, cash, going to a good man; money for his wife, children, grandchildren, or whomever else may need for in his ongoing life, the main point perhaps being 100’s of dollars (thousands??) spent locally in an economy that serves the nearest first – something for which I felt very good about.

And finally, and really for me, most importantly, a sort of last payback in hard currency that represented a close connection to an area where most recently my closet family (mom, dad, brothers & sisters) have lived for over 40 years.  A place I could call home if only for a few days and find enjoyment with the thoughts and feelings of shared love, care and concern from and with a close family who was always there in central Kansas, a beacon of hope in this troubled yet wonderful world.  And thanks again, especially mama and papa, for all you did to make a loving family.

PS – The 1950 Ford 8N may someday join the yard-art in the background of the picture, but for now, it’s still a good worker!

All the best – Ern

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