Some of the most satisfying moments of my life come from my accomplishments. Not the accomplishments that one would expect, that come from schooling, business or social accolades, but rather from the so called simple victories. Anyone who as spent countless hours working on Cub tractors or any other piece of cantankerous old iron knows what I mean by simple victory. Can anything else come close to the elation of firing up the engine and hearing it run after it has sat silent for the last forty years? Or the lowest of lows when all your hard work in the same engine produces nothing or worst yet the engine breaks after only a few minutes of running. The simple victories are solitary triumphs perhaps only known to ourselves, whereas the simple defeats are often suffered in the silence of resolve. There is intrinsic satisfaction that comes along in the form of a Cub tractor and the vision of what it could become in the hands of a craftsman. It has been stated before that this avocation is an addiction, the collection of Cub tractors and equipment. I believe that it is also an addiction to reality and our ability to manipulate our material world to prove that we can control it. In the process of working on our Cubâ€™s all of what we know or do not know is prominently displayed for all to see. Unlike the virtual world that we have come to know, where there are levels or degrees of accomplishment or competence, the reality world of the Cub tractor can be put into simple terms, Pass/Fail. The engine runs or not, the lights work or they do not. Pitting our wits against a simple piece of machinery may seem foolhardy to some individuals and not worth the effort, I disagree. What price can be put the experience derived from this endeavor? What price can be put on the intrinsic satisfaction that leaves you with a smile for days? Or the elation of quality seat time? Enter into this avocation knowing that it will more than likely become an addiction, not of collecting tractors, but the accusation of knowledge, the accumulation of real experiences, the consolation of our defeats and the shared satisfaction of our victories.
â€œI do not know about you, but when I am working on my Cubs or Implements or anything that really gives me a lot of pleasure, I think a lot while I work. I find that when I am enjoying myself the most is when my mind is relaxed enough to contemplate what is actually going on around/with me that gives me such peace and pleasure. Maybe it is the smell of grease/oil/fuel or even hand cleaner. Maybe it is the aroma of old iron that permeates a garage/shop as it under goes the restorative processesâ€ (Rudi)
Avocation is an activity that a person does as a hobby outside their main occupation. There are many examples of people whose profession was the way they make a living, but whose activities outside their workplace were their true passion in life. Many times a person's regular vocation may lead to their avocation
â€œWhat amazes me is how much satisfaction I get from not only fixing something that is broke, but in trying to understand how and why things are the way they are on this particular little critter. And then somehow a bit of sadness creeps into my subconciousness as I realize that what was, what is will soon like our Cubs, no longer be. Who will carry on for us in maintaining our cherished little tractors? Who will have the technical/manual skills/dexterity to do the work? The days of the high school tech shops are almost long gone. We no longer seem to value trades/crafts people and only value that which is intellectual in nature. We have moved over to labs and other so-called modern disciplines. I wonder what will happen to my children and their children when we no longer do the things we love to do as a daily vocation. Who will take care of those things that need to be fixed?â€ (Rudi)
Vocation, Latin for "calling", is a term for an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which they are suited, trained or qualified. A belief that God has created each person with gifts and talents oriented toward specific purposes and a way of life
Involve the younger generation in our avocationâ€™s particularly in the â€œHands Onâ€ skills they we know and practice. They will never know our experiences unless we involve them in some way. Some of the best times that Kyle and I have had are centered around working together on some piece of equipment or Cub tractor. We can work together on our latest project all day and only speak to each other occasionally and it is always about the project at hand. But that is not the point; rather it is the commonality of purpose, the attentiveness to detail and the shared experience that bespeaks volumes to us as the day unfolds. This skill is not practiced in our schools anymore to the discouragement of the majority of students. The next generation is depending on us to show them the wonders of â€œHands Onâ€ involvement through our Hobby. This may be just the avenue to a vocational awaking that perhaps will lead to a life time of gratification.
To this end, I am going to attempt over the next few months to write a few articles on basic diagnostic procedures and some foundation skills or techniques along with how to put them to use in repairing your Cub.
The goal is for a middle of the road approach and not be over the top technical. Those of us that can talk technical jargon do not need the help, whereas those that need the help have no idea what we are talking about. The key here is understanding which is composed of simplicity with the lack of adornment.
PM myself or Rudi if you have any ideas about future explorations that you would like to read about.
Thanks in Advance