Saturday we went to the Orscheln tractor show at Richmond. This wasn't something we did with our usual group, since the club was doing a show at Warrensburg at the Veteran's Home. But this was closer to home, and Cliff has had the good fortune to win first place at the two local Orscheln stores three times, with a different tractor winning each time. These shows involve a lot of sitting around in a parking lot with your tractor, and getting a free hot dog for lunch. Now, many people park their tractors and leave, but Cliff is always afraid unsupervised children will be allowed to climb all over his tractors and do some damage. So we take our lawn chairs and sit.
I have a pet peeve about both of the Orschlen shows we participate: The winning tractor wins by popular vote, which is great (Cliff has won the $100 gift card three times). Entrants can vote, and so can the general public. However, there is no way the public knows this because nobody tells them. There's no sign to tell them that there is even any voting to be done. In fact, most of the entrants didn't know there was voting to be done last Saturday! So what usually happens is this: the entrants vote, and if they have relatives and friends at a show, they tell them to vote. But all the strangers who look over the tractors, admire them, and ask questions have no idea they could vote for their favorite. I guess the folks at Orscheln think people are mind-readers. There were at least fifty people who came and looked the tractors over, but only 23 votes were cast Saturday. And some of those only voted because I told them they could.
But enough of that. We did have an enjoyable day, and it turns out there was also a fair in town and Saturday was parade day. Three guys were going to take their tractors in the parade, so we joined them.
While we were sitting in the parking lot, a couple came along with three grandchildren (one brand-new baby). The kids were so excited about the tractors they kept wanting to get on them, or even just touch them, but the adults told them not to... how nice to see somebody actually have control of their children! The little boy was especially fascinated with the big machines, so I told the folks I didn't think it would hurt if they let the kids sit in the seat. I made the offer without asking Cliff's approval, but I could see he was OK with it: His main fear is some kid climbing on and falling off. He doesn't want to be responsible for someone getting hurt. Watching those children on the tractor made it worth any risk on our parts!
Later another little boy was all excited about the larger Farmall sitting beside ours, and Cliff took it on himself to tell the parents they could let him sit on our tractor.
He fully enjoyed it, but when he was back on the ground he asked if he could get on the bigger tractor next to us. Cliff told him, "I'm sorry, but that isn't my tractor, so I can't tell you it's OK."
From now on I'm going to keep my eyes open for well-behaved children who obviously love tractors and give them a chance to sit on ours. Maybe I'll casually mention to their parents to be sure and vote for their favorite tractor. Hmmm. I wonder which one they'll vote for?