Blog post from David Michael: We took the traditional volunteer tour around the concert site this afternoon to get familiar with where eveything was and what we will need to do tomorrow. The Homegrown Village–now in it’s 2nd year–looks very cool. I’ve already eyeballed a couple of food stands I want to try out. A couple of buses were parked in the back but there will be a whole lot more tomorrow. The press event area looks really good. It’s decorated with haybales, pumpkins and gourds. Stools were set up on the stage for the participants, risers were being put in place for the cameras and the chairs were on the way for the audience.
But the coolest part of all? Hands down, it was the restored Farm-All tractor parked beside the stage. I am all about the Farm-All tractors. Today I am a suburb dweller whose exposure to farming is the Manassas Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, but as a youngster I was lucky enough to spend every summer from 5th grade to college on my grandparent’s farm in Pennsylvania. My grandfather had two Farm-All F-20 tractors–held together largely by duct tape and wishful thinking–and I loved driving them. When we were done for the day, he would let me take it out and drive around the fields just for fun.
In the summer between 7th and 8th grade, I met a young lady at the Jefferson Township Fair who I took an immediate shine to. It turned out she lived across from my grandparents. My evening rides on the tractor from then on took place in the same field every time–not coincidentally the field over the road from her house. I went from buzzing all over that field as fast as possible to driving slowly back and forth along the road, just in case she would happen to come out. Every day. Over and over. In hindsight, I suppose I have to admit that it probably wasn’t so much “cute” as it was “stalking”. But I still maintain a fond attachment to those tractors. I even have two toy ones on my desk at work.
Kenny Chesney is playing the show this year and I’m hoping he’ll play She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy. If he does, I will stop whatever I’m doing and think about that girl from the Fair and wonder what she is doing. Most likely she’ll be backstage somewhere getting an artist ready for an interview. Brenda’s been working with Farm Aid since 1995 and for some crazy reason has been married to me since 1991. Tractors Rock!