Monday, July 27, 2009

Madison, in parts: The Tractors

Last weekend, I went to Madison, Wisconsin with my family for the national meeting of International Harvester enthusiasts, aptly known as The Red Power Roundup (let me tell you, there's more to it than that damn Craig Morgan song).

While farm-implement shows may not seem like a steamy cup a tea to everybody, I find them pretty neat, and not just because the first thing I drove was a tractor. Much like a comic book convention or quilt show, this is a cultural experience, a microcosm of passionate individuals who never fail to exceed expectation and stereotype. Even when their thing is not my thing, I always enjoy the company of folks who love what they're doing.

There wasn't much in the way of food at the show though, not unless you count Kent's Big Bars, which are undeniably delicious homemade ice cream bars, and What My Family Made For Dinner each night, which also fell in the categories of ridiculous and delicious.

Madison, However, and It's crazy between-the-lakes, monster capitol squared in by one-way streets, bike-trails everywhere self had a lot to say on the subject. So, instead of giving you a novel on my trip to Madison, I will be writing about it in a series, a little trick I learned from trying to write one poem about ten different things. That poem wasn't very good, but I think these posts will be.

In the meantime, I'd like to show you a couple of pictures from the show, which I know, you're thinking I came here to see about food but I'd like to take this as a public service announcement opportunity and encourage you to think about where your food came from who grew it -- not just the pointedly local food you get at the market, but all of it-- and then, maybe, to share in some of the small joys of farmers, like using the same tractor your Grandpa bought new.

Farmall 1206 Turbos from the fifties and sixties.
International Harvester is just any ole tractor company; the founder, Cyrus McCormick, invented the horse drawn reaper that revolutionized the way the entire world farmed.

The Family Havanese, Asta, dressed for the occasion.

Our Truck, a 1966 Travelall, waiting to parade to the Wisconsin Historical Archives.

Me and Kent's Big Bar.

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