#8216;Overhauls#039; and cotton bolls and John Deere tractors, too

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2005

Three glorious Saturdays in a row have added up to three working Saturdays enjoying the great outdoors in Butler County. If you've got to work on the weekend, let it be on a sunny, temperate day spent with good folks having a good time.

I had a great time exploring the hills and dales of Clant and Yvonne Johnson's farm for the Women in the Outdoors event in mid-October.

Everything looked so festively fall-like, with plenty of pumpkins, potted mums and pretty leaf garlands.

It was easy to see lots of hard work had gone into preparing for the day. Kudos to the Johnsons, their daughter,

April Smith, Barbara Philpot and all those who made this event a success.

The ladies all seemed to truly enjoy their classes, whether learning how to properly hold a pistol, make a nature frame or use a turkey call. And the location was simply ideal for such an outdoor event.

Last weekend, I headed out into the county once again for another Butler County Old Time Farm Day.

As promised, there were new attractions, including toe-tapping live music provided by such talents as the Southern Comfort Bluegrass Band, cake and cookie walks, and a cane mill. Folks young and old donned their most comfortable overalls (or &#8220overhauls,” as my daddy used to sometimes call them) and their cowboy hats and John Deere caps to get into the spirit of things.

The organizers' concession booth captured the spirit of fall with its corn husks, pumpkins, fall flowers and cotton boll &#8220tree,” an attraction for the photographers in the crowd.

&#8220We've had a wonderful turnout,” volunteer Jerre Turner told me.

Indeed, there were plenty of vehicles parked near the century-old McClure farmhouse when I arrived late morning on Saturday.

And the tractors! What a wonderful array of vintage farm vehicles – Massey-Ferguson, Massey-Harris, Farmall, Ford, even one &#8220David Brown” tractor driven by Tom Autrey. That name was a new one on emcee David Norrell and, I suspect, on most of the crowd.

And of course, there were John Deeres: Deeres with metal wheels, and rubber ones, rusted Deeres, and Deeres with pristine new green and yellow coats, as if just driven out of a showroom.

One 1955 Model 50 captured my heart. Harold Turner of Greenville has done a magnificent job of restoring a well-used, half-century-old &#8220putt-putt” tractor.

I know how much use that old Deere got, you see, because it once belonged to my daddy.

He used it to bale hay and plant gardens; the Putt-Putt, as we dubbed it, provided endless tinkering opportunities for a man who loved his tractors.

I took lots of photos last Saturday, as usual – just call me the &#8220shutter-happy hat lady” – but the ones I am most proud of are the shots of Daddy's beautiful old &#8220girl.”

It's not just &#8220old-timers” who benefit from a visit to Farm Day. Some of us &#8220middle-timers” can take away some precious memories, too.

Bless you, Mr. McClure and family, and thanks for the memories.

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com.