Aug 18-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: August: Aug 18-05
Boys and their toys!    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Mary Baril

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 06:54 am:

You may be a Yooper if you've ever ridden in a lawn chair attached to a tractor! It's certainly not something you see every day here in the Keweenaw, but Mary Baril was on hand to record this unique event for her nephews. Uncle Alfie rigged up a wooden lawn chair and took the boys for a ride down the main street of Lake Linden and beyond! Of course the boys thought it was a riot, with everyone turning to look at them as they passed by!

Someone is going to be worried about no seatbelts and such, so here's the standard disclaimer: Please don't try this at home!

I just want to assure everyone that this was carried out with safety in mind. The boy's Mom (Ellen), who is a nurse and her brother (Uncle Alfie), both grew up on a farm operating tractors their whole lives and neither would ever endanger the boy's well-being. I'm sure it's an experience these young men will remember (and later reminisce about) long into their adult life!
WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 07:50 am:

Mary you are too funny with your disclaimer. That made me chuckle. ;)
Michigan living= riding on a tractor. You know, come to think of it, that is one thing I miss so much about Michigan...the sound of the tractors out in the fields in the spring and fall at night.

By lz (Llamamama) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 08:16 am:

Could that be a Ford 8N? Early 1950's model? Don't recognize the reverse "headlights"! And thank you Mary for the safety disclaimer. Farm implements have inherent dangers and require a certain level of respect. But, Oh, what fun! I still enjoy a "cruise" on our '51 Ford. Older then me, but in better shape! :)

By Lorelei (Lorelei) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 08:39 am:

I too love the disclaimer. A lot of us Yoopers did things that were not so safe. (like bum riding the school bus when the roads were icy) Tee Hee!! My Grampa had an old tractor with a big plow on the front of it. What fun it was to ride with him while plowing the driveway. He called it the "Jukkari". I believe the english word was "joker". Not sure of the spelling so someone may help me out.

By Gary W. Long (Gary_in_co) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 08:39 am:

I have an International Harvester Cub Lo-Boy tractor about the size of that one, not quite as old. It has a top speed of about a fast jog. Wide stance and low center of gravity makes it very stable. The greatest danger would be starving to death trying to make it home in time for dinner from the back 40.

By JOHN AND ANNE KENTUCKY (Username) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 08:48 am:


By Pauline (Yooperinpa) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 09:27 am:

LOL! Nothing like that type of Yooper ride.

By Dale Beitz (Dbeitz) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 10:20 am:

Pictures like that always leave me somewhat conflicted. I grew up on a farm in the thumb of Michigan (born in 1965), and as a kid I always wanted to ride the tractor with Dad because that was fun. At that time, none of our tractors had cabs, so riding amounted to either standing on the drawbar if there didn't happen to be an implement being pulled behind the tractor, or standing on the platform next to the driver with your rump resting on the fender. I also recall being a teenager and "riding" various forms of equipment, because it was necessary to accomplish some task. One example (among many) was our six row planter. We mounted a long plank on the frame behind the fertilizer boxes, and every few rounds I would stand on that plank while Dad drove. My job was to walk back and forth to watch a gear on each of the planter units to be sure that they all were working (drive chains frequently broke, or cotter pins sheared off, resulting in that row not planting), to level the fertilizer in the bins since they never fed evenly, and to watch the sprayer nozzles to make sure they didn't clog. Today, this sort of thing would be considered absolutely reckless. And while I admit that some of these things were dangerous, they were considered a necessary part of getting the job done. Life is inherently dangerous, and while we shouldn't be doing things to make it worse, we shouldn't be so afraid that we can't get out of bed in the morning.

By stix (Stixoutwest) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 11:35 am:

lorelei, my dad has a Joker!! And all these years I thought they just made up that name because it's a rusted piece of junk that is pieced together and looks ridiculous.....but can still move snow!!!! How funny. Now that we live in the city, I laugh when I think about how young our kids were when they started to drive during our summers up there (we are WAY out in the boonies!!)! Everything from a 1940 tractor, to a 1949 Jeep Willie, to a 1927(??) Model A, to a Half Ton pick-up with a stick shift, to a Suzuki 80 motor bike, to a make-shift Dune Buggy, to a 1969 Datsun Roadster, to a modern day car!! When the kids got behind the wheel with the driving instrutors, they were quite impressed!! I always told them to go lightly when telling of their prior driving experience!!! And I must add MY disclaimer......this isn't for everyone, so don't try it at home, only at the cottage in Da UP!!! Oh ya, and wear seat belts, if the vehicle has them!!!!

By Betty A. Catalano (Old66kat) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 12:36 pm:

a tractor exactly like this is what I learned to drive with -- and my Grandmother who would not drive a car whipped that thing into the highest gear ( 5 I think ) and would head to her neighbors for coffee or off to the Co-Op store - only I never had a chair to go with her - I just put one leg on each side near the back and hung on to the top of that back fender - and that tractor was in our family until 1997 - and the new owners are still using it - One of the better things the Ford built

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 01:50 pm:

Sounds like the first driving lessons I got...on the farm in a truck with a stick shift. We were loading hay, and my uncle stuck the truck in first gear for me, and had me drive while he walked behind the truck tossing bales of hay into the bed. Perhaps, because of my first driving lessons, that is why I am so parcial to trucks...and refuse to own a car. ;)

By stix (Stixoutwest) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 02:27 pm:

Sur5er....Oh man, I'd be in trouble if I was partial to my first "vehicle"!! I think it was a Model "A" truck!!! However, now that I am a parent with younger drivers, I really see the importance of everyone learning to drive a stick. You never know when you'll/they'll NEED to drive someone else's car, and it may be a stick! Did you get my reply to your driftwood question a couple of days ago? It was posted kind of late. Funny story I'll send along again if you missed it!

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 02:37 pm:

Yep, I saw your post/reply the other day...I posted a re-reply to your reply. ;) Hubby and I had a similiar experience with our jet ski and dingy.
Agree that kids need to be taught how to drive a stick shift...they never know when they are going to need it. I even had hubby teach me how to drive his semi...because I ride with him, and I want to know how to drive it, in case something happens.
Oh heck, if you can drive a pickup truck with a snow plow attached to it, you can drive anything, eh ;)

By Marv Borgman (Wait4me6920) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 04:35 pm:

We had a Ford like this on the farm in Iowa when I was growing
up. We also had a light mounted & pointing to the rear - came in
handy when doing field work after dark. Could swivel it to point
at the plow, combine, whatever...

By Brian Patrie (Briansp) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 05:43 pm:

Things that were not so safe. hmmm. We didn't have any farm equipment to speak of, but we did have Model A's (Pop restored them). Whenever we got home from somewhere, me and my four brothers would get out and ride the fenders up the "old driveway" (the longer of the two). We used to argue over who got to ride the fender with the horn.

By Renee Runkle (Renee) on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 09:02 pm:

test please ignore

By Jane Miller (Jbmiller) on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 07:27 am:

Hey Alfie. Is that the tractor we used to ride on when we were kids, and visting you at the farm. I used to love going to the farm. But that was quite a while ago.

By ralph tuttila (Rauli) on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 11:20 am:

Lorelie, I grew up in the UP ,rural, Ishpeming and recall that all of the little Finnish American farms had a "jukkari" . It simply referred to a home made tracktor as few of those raising annual crops of mostly rocks could affore a factory made farm tractor such as Ford produced. I am not sure where the name came from but it is Finn-Am and not found in Finland. I find nothing that would indicate it means joker. And Jokes these marvels were not. These homemade contrtaptions were the creations of Finns who were quite independent and self reliant as well as inventive types.
They could be made from any vehicle but something a bit more heavy duty such as a Model B ford truck was best.
It was stripped down , cab removed, with only the essentials on a reinforced frame which was shortened . A final gear ration or "heavy duty rear end" (referring to the differential not ones posterier) was typical. Two speed was ideal as was a "creeper or crawler" gear in the transmission. I recall that our neighbors even had a "power take-off" source so they could run other equipment from the extra driveshaft , such as a saw-rig.
If available larger wheels and tires were installed. All of this required much skill and ability to weld , imporvise and a lot of knowledge of mechanics without the technical specs as there were no manuals in this venture.
They were versatile ,powerful and of course replaced many horses as did other tractors.
Fun to drive and very loud as exhaust system mufflers were a bother and though to rob power.
I follows that folks then applied the name Jukkari to factory made tractors as well.
I would like to see a few pics of those old creations. Kip P. and I do Finn and other music together and go by the name of "Jukkari Veljet"
or tractor brothers. (actually we are not brothers and just went to different schools together maybe at different times too)Well we both grew up in Finn-Am communities in Minnesota and Michigans UP.
Would be nice to see some old photos of "jukkaris"
Rauli T.
See you at Heikinpaiva Jan 20-21 at Hancock
Catch the "Finn hall" mucic that weekend

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