Ol Bessie She’s a John Deere 5310

You know who doesn’t get enough recognition? Ol Bessie. She’s a John Deere 5310 with some age related ailments and a little fern growing in her worn lemon yellow seat. This gal really works her heart out. Though she’s constantly needing tune ups and TLC, she does well for such an old lady and we are grateful for her. We don’t know how much longer she’ll run but every day that she does is helpful.
Ol Bessie may be a fartin’, belchin’, smelling, fluid leaking, groaning and squeaking hot mess express BUT, in all her decades of service how many thousands of happy school children has her hay ride pulled? How many metric tons of stuff has she moved? How many hay bales were dropped or spreading fires stopped? Today I contemplated this as she helped me move and burn storm debris. Load after load, log after log until I accidentally busted one of her pallet fork tines off of the frame. I was asking her to help me with a massive piece of lighterknot pine. Probably asking her to bite off more than she could chew. Reassessing my plan I looked up at her with her aging and now snaggle-toothed smile and thought- I’m grateful for you ol gal.
She reminds us daily that even though she’s high maintenance, she makes work easier. The pioneers had no Bessie, and when she’s down, we are reminded how they felt. Old Bess’s lessons remind us of why places like CMNC are so important. Native and Pioneer history, especially here in Florida reminds us of the true grit that our predecessors had.
Of the innovation that led to technology like Bess and far beyond. Bess is helping us recover so we can reopen for you all. Stay tuned and thank you for your patience and support.