The Fun Club watched as the cranberries were raked to the surface with special equipment after the fields were flooded for cranberry harvest on this 2018 tour.

One of the fun things about group travel is that you meet a lot of interesting people.

When the Fun Club hosts a multi-day tour, one of the activities we often do the first day is ask our travelers to write a paragraph on a particular topic. Then we read those paragraphs on the way home. It makes the ride home go quicker and we always learn some fun things about the people on the tour.

Last year about this time, we traveled to Wisconsin for cranberry harvest. Since I knew we would be seeing a lot of machines and equipment, I asked our travelers to share a recent or a long-ago experience they have had with any kind of machine. I’ve selected just a few of those stories to share with you today.

This tractor’s too slow

Curtis Huber from Central City said: “When I was a young boy, my dad bought his first tractor. It was called a Farmall Regular and it would only go about 5 miles an hour. I had to drive it from one farm to another which was about two miles. I got to the top of a hill and I thought ‘How can I make this thing go faster?’

“To make a long story short, I pushed in the clutch which threw it out of gear. It got going so fast that I got scared so I let the clutch back out. The tractor jumped up and down and I almost lost it. It scared me so much that I never did it again.”

A lesson learned

Micki Wachter of York shared a different story about a new tractor. She said: “My dad bought a John Deere 60 that had power steering. I was eight years old and my brother was seven and we were to cultivate the corn. When we got going, my brother fought me for the wheel and we ended up plowing out four rows of corn about half the length of the field. My dad was not happy with us.”

A new combine

Ron Klute, who now lives in Illinois, said: “In 1958 or 1959 my dad and his brother bought a brand new model 45 John Deere combine. This was when we no longer picked corn in the ear and began using a combine that shelled the corn as it was going through the field.

“My dad let me ride with him on this new machine all the way from the implement dealer in Polk to our farm by Hampton. What a treat for a five-year-old. I can still remember the smell of the new paint, which to me smelled different than other brands, and I still feel that way today.

“Later, when the combine was parked in the yard, I crawled all over that new machine until I managed to burn my leg on the hot motor. It took a long time to heal. The blister was the size of a peach.”

Adventures with the meat cutter

Ardee Rut of Utica said when she was growing up her dad and mom owned a grocery store. She said: “One machine that got the best of me was the electric meat slicer. The customer would ask for slices of ham or a pound of cold cuts. We had to take the heavy slab out of the cooler and slice off the weight or count what they wanted. And oh yes, we had to set the thickness too.

“It was important to watch where your hand was because the slicer wheel spun at a tremendous speed. So you hold the meat, move the slicer back and forth and can you guess the rest?! Yep, I sliced off the side of my little finger. I can still show it to you today and that was 60 years ago!”

Put the oil where?

Donna Driewer of Fullerton said: “In high school I worked at the corner gas station and bar & grill. If you were wait staff or dishwasher, you also pumped gas.

“The owner’s daughter pulled up at the pumps and asked me to fill her car with gas and put in a quart of oil. Gas was no problem but I was not familiar with anything under the hood. I put the oil in the only hole I could see.....the radiator! Oops! She never asked me again for gas and oil.”

Join our motorcoach tour!

See what fun we have on Fun Club tours? We still have openings for our Christmas in Branson tour next month. The dates are Monday through Friday, Nov. 11 - 15. That’s earlier than we usually go, so this year we are including the fabulous holiday entertainment of Silver Dollar City. The millions of lights, the electric parade and the Broadway style performances will put you in the Christmas spirit for months. We will also see seven incredible Christmas shows in Branson.

In addition to the above, the $859 per person cost includes all transportation, four-nights in an award-winning hotel, luggage handling, eight meals, a tour of Branson, wine tasting, Veteran Fun Club escorts and more. Call the Fun Club at 402-745-6477 for information.

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