By Ray Balogh
SYRACUSE — A group of area farmers and their families rolled their American flag-bedecked vintage tractors along the west side of Syracuse to show their patriotism Saturday, July 3.
“We are really proud of the U.S.A.,” said Bob Dumford, who hosted the event and hopes to make it an annual Fourth of July occurrence.
In the “first ever” procession, seven mechanical beasts were slowly driven around a 3-mile route, which started at the north end of Bishop Road, south into Country Club Acres, west on Eli Lilly Road, north on Warner Road, east on 1300N and back to Dumford’s farm on 775E.
Tractors and their drivers were:
• 1948 International Harvester Farm-All H, Austin Kiger, Dumford’s son-in-law, who was visiting for the holiday with his wife (Dumford’s granddaughter), Agatha, from Franklin, Tenn.
• 1949 John Deere B, Bob Dumford
• 1950 John Deere G, Tim Woodward, who came from North Manchester. Woodward worked around Lake Wawasee for the Turkey Creek Regional Sewer District for 33 years. He organized the event and was happy to have time to participate. “I usually worked this weekend.”
• 1952 John Deere M, Jim Young
• 1953 International Harvester Farm-All Super M, Dave Rodenbeck
• 1959 John Deere 830, Lee Ridgeway, accompanied by his wife, Dana. The tractor belonged to her father, who passed away a few years ago.
• 1960 John Deere 2010, Ernie Cripe, who will turn 88 in December. Woodward said of Cripe, his father-in-law, “He got me started on tractor pulls and antique tractors. I married his daughter Beth.”
Cripe owns a collection of more than 30 antique tractors — the oldest a 1926 International Harvester Farm-All F — along with several plows and manure spreaders. Other brand names in his collection include John Deere, Case, Ford, Minneapolis Moline and Oliver.
The following photos of the participants were snapped as they proceeded south on Bishop Road next to the Wawasee Golf Club. Photos by Ray Balogh.