LIVERMORE - The fourth annual Livermore Daze parade brought a group of 12 men and their prized pieces of farm machinery together in the Humboldt County community Saturday morning.
With those 12 tractors also come a dozen stories, each a little different, sharing a little piece of history. Some tractors were still original, others were shined up with a brand-new paint job - fully restored - and some remained in the same family, passed down from generation to generation.
Norm Kohlhaas, of rural Livermore, had a family tractor along for the ride. His Oliver 1600 is mostly original, with just a little paint touch up here and there and a few replacement parts.
-Messenger photo by Emilie Nelson
Mark Burres, of Eagle Grove, waits on his 1967 John Deere 2510 as a little rain falls prior to the start of the Livermore Daze Tractor Ride Saturday morning. The ride stared out as part of the Livermore Daze parade then traveled west to the Grotto at West Bend before returning to Livermore.
"The Oliver was kind of a half and half tractor," Kohlhaas said. "Somewhere between a John Deere and an International."
Kohlhaas' tractor is mostly "retired" from the farm fields, unlike in its earlier days.
"We have ground some feed with it," he said. "My dad bought this one new in 1964."
His father's tractor isn't the only piece of family equipment Kohlhaas ...owns. He has a 1937 "A," which belonged to his grandfather.
"I like it, but this one's better for the ride," he said. "It might go 5 miles per hour. But you need a little more speed than that for a ride."
Brian Zeman, of Livermore, brought out his restored 706 International for the day. Like Kohlhaas, Zeman's was also a family tractor.
"Dad bought this one new in 1967," said Zeman.
Zeman enjoys taking the tractor for a spin every now and then, but Saturday's 41-mile ride to West Bend and back is the only longer distance ride he takes during the year.
"This is the only one I do," he said. "But it's a fun day."
Other riders, such as Steve Erwin, of Renwick, seek out as many tractor rides as they can in one summer. Erwin takes his 1949 Oliver 77 Row Crop on several rides, some that are even a few days long.
"I leave tomorrow to go over to Oelwein for a three-day ride," he said. "I do it just for the fun."
Mark Burres, of Eagle Grove, described his fully restored 1967 John Deere 2510 as an "oversized toy."
"That's what they say; the only difference between men and boys is the size and price of the toys," said Burres. "I have a sign that says 'Still plays with tractors,' and I'd have to say it's completely true."