Driving Through History
The Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society organized a road trip by inviting anyone with a 1970 or older tractor to drive 40 miles in the county, stopping three times along the way.
"I just like to go visit with the people and talk to them," explained Reed Nichols. "Everybody's got the same thing on their minds, old tractors."
At least 66 tractors showed up for the drive, some of them fresh from the farm fields.
"I don't think anything holds up any better, or holds its value any better, than an American-made farm tractor, the old Farmalls and John Deeres, Allis-Chalmers," said Baumgartner.
Tractors were from various decades, but mostly from the 1950s. The event was a chance to keep alive part of mid-Missouri's heritage.
"Lots of the young people don't know how farming used to be, with all the high-tech equipment, with GPS-guided machinery and all the new stuff that's got plastic and all that on it," said Bill McCray. "This stuff was made for keeps."
And there's another reason the event was worthwhile.
"Just getting everybody together and having a good time, good fellowship, visiting," Nichols explained. "People don't visit enough anymore. Everybody's in too big a hurry."
But, not on this day, when it was time to see from where farmers came. Baumgartner said the historical society plans to make the vintage tractor drive a yearly event and hold it in different parts of Callaway County.