A Teachable Tractor
This boy is learning valuable lessons thanks to his dad and his Pappy— and a little help from Santa.
Our 1957 Farmall Cub was a gift for my son, Levi. I found it online in 2016, and Santa helped get it home for Christmas. Levi, who is 10, loves his Cub. It seems not a day goes by that he isn’t on it.
It had been sitting for a number of years, so we’ve had to do some work on it. We overhauled the carburetor to clean out years of varnish and clogged passageways, and that got it running. After a while the charging system felt questionable so we installed a new voltage regulator and overhauled the generator. We stuck with the 6-volt system—it worked for 60 years, it’ll work for 60 more. A few months later the Cub developed four stuck exhaust valves, but after a complete valve job, it ran well.
The Farmall has taught my son valuable mechanical skills. He devours books on tractors and asks thoughtful questions about them. We live on the family homestead, so he’s learned much of what he knows from his Pappy and me (though at times I think he knows more about tractors than we do).
Levi enjoys taking the Cub to tractor shows and parades. This past Memorial Day he entered it in the local parade to honor his Great-Uncle Sam, who was killed in action in Vietnam. He also takes his mother, his dog and me for rides around the block in the wagon we built. The Cub gets him out of the house and ensures he’s not in front of the TV all day.
Levi’s goal is to farm and have a landscape business. I grew up helping family members on their farms, and the lessons I learned—responsibility; respect for machinery; and love, respect and compassion for family, friends and animals—can’t be taught many other ways.
While we don’t have a farm, we are fortunate to have 20 acres of woods that allow my wife and me to raise our son in the same way we grew up. The only thing he’s missing is the joy of baling hay on a 100-degree day.
According to his dad, when it snows, Levi loves to get up on the Cub and get to work.