Mari bought me this fine model International Harvester Farmall M for Christmas 1998. It means much to me for Dad bought such a new tractor from Weber Brothers in Teutopolis in Spring 1939 and used it for more than 20 years. It was our first tractor with rubber tires and despite the thought that rubber tires would never replace the steel wheels it did very well. As a small boy, I remember Dad in the barn lot with a fire burning under the red belly Fordson tractor trying to heat it thus increasing the possibilibty that it would start when cranked. Finally it would start after much cranking. He then bought a Farmall F12 which was not powerful enough to plow the thick black topsoil on our farm. Then to my disgust he bought a bright orange Allis Chalmers WC tractor which had more power than the F12 but made me very unhappy for I was a big Farmall proponent in the face of all the local John Deere and AC fans. Dad was very kind to me and did not require me to do much farm work unlike some of the neighbors who almost worked their young sons to death. I did cultivate corn with our horses Jim and Betty. Betty was a big docile mare while jim was wiry, of a bay color and very spirited. There was no concern about my getting lost in the fields for at the slightest opportunity Jim would head for the barn. In cultivating corn, Jim brightened up when cultivating east toward the barn and reluctantly turned back to the west to cultivate the next row. I also did much work with the Farmall M tractor. It ran very well, was powerful and a pleasure to drive. I also helped with threshing, hay bailing and putting loose hay in the barn. Dad was chairman of the Cumberland County Draft Board and as such the Board gave farm deferments to a few of the sons of farmers who needed them for farming. But we had an excellent hired hand, Ted Stewart, and there was no way a farm deferment would be provided for me. I do not recall that the family ever discussed this matter for it was just understood.


After doing well on a test at High School in early
1943, and somewhat arbitrarily choosing Navy over Army in a box at the end of the test, I was inducted in the Navy in summer 1943 and sent to the University of Illinois as an Apprentice Seaman in the Navy V12 program to take a pre-engineering program of study. I studied hard and did well. After completing my Freshman year in early May 1944, I was told to go to the lobby of the beautiful Illinois Student Union on Green Street and find my future Navy Assignment. I was pleased and lucky to find that I was to transfer to Northwestern University to enter a Bachelors Degree Program In Mechanical Engineering. After a few days leave at home, I took the Illinois Central Railroad to the 12th Street Station on the South side of Chicago thence by Elevated to Noyes Street in Evanston Illinois and a walk of 3 blocks to Northwestern University, The Technological Institute. Little did I know what that day and trip meant to my future career.

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