With all of the political infighting throughout America; attempted murder charges being filed against someone because they had threatened to kill a sitting member of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) because he had been driven there by speeches and statements from both administration lackeys and the corporate media; almost constant protests about everything under the sun; the foisting of points of view upon America designed to break apart families, friends, churches and neighbors to normalize what has always been understood to be fringe and divisive activity; it's easy to become weary and wonder if there is any sanity in today's world. And then Tractorcade comes along.
It's the 23rd celebration of what is such a very Iowa thing. 300-500 tractors, their drivers, support crews and families and friends join together for a four-day celebration of love of farming, ageless iron, friends (old and new), and, really, America. Every year, I kind of dread working the Tractorcade day (sorry Matt and Bill). And then I get to the site, and everything comes back in focus.
From the first tractors to roll in, to the locals and others who drive from hours away to check out all of the ageless iron), to my fellow volunteers from the station and the community, there's a peace that descends on my soul because of the camaraderie of all involved. Even the thorns on the rose, just a few, can be laughed off easily, because they want to become more involved than they can be because they see something remarkable happening around them.
Matt (Kenney) and Bill (Poston), mentioned earlier, are the backbone of the yearly effort, and Front Desk Sue manages the back office efforts, and they do so skillfully and smoothly. The volunteers all have their areas, know them well and flow from one task to the next like a rivulet of water finding it's way from the base of a tree, building as it grows, flowing into the river, which are all the tractors.
The fellowship, the, "You're Doug Wagner?" "Yeah, sorry to disappoint you.", and the hand off of a cold beer on a hot day are just the beginning. It's watching people come together and knowing that for four days, there's a place where 2+2 does equal 4; a place where you can disagree with your neighbor and still break bread; a place where the best of America is on display for all to see...parading by at 8 miles an hour.
So, whatever the SCOTUS decision is, whatever inflation and interest rates are, no matter how The Great Resignation affects us on a daily basis, this represents an oasis and a comfort and a port in the storm. If you're experienced Tractorcade, you know what I'm writing about. If you haven't, stay tuned until January when we announce the 2023 Tractorcade route. Then come along for the show, and the fun, and the family. You're welcome to join.