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The Show and Tell of a Farmer’s Life

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Cow BellsLR.2
When Dan Healy’s great grandfather came to America from Ireland in 1868, he brought this cowbell with him.
Story and Photo By BOB OTTO

CALIMESA, CA – There’s no doubt, Dan Healy loves stumping his buddies at Uncle Ray’s Donut Shop in Yucaipa when they gather for their daily coffee klatch.

“Do you know what this is?” or “Have you ever seen one of these?” he’ll ask while lifting up and brandishing some unusual looking object. It’s as if Healy’s playing a game of show and tell.

One morning the 79-year-old retired high school teacher walked in carrying what looked like some sort of antique paint scrapper. We guessed the scrapper part right. But what it was used for, we had no clue.

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Tractors on parade

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Photos By Bob Otto

CANNON FALLS, MN – The Cannon Falls 94th annual 4th of July parade drew about 7,000 spectators to the little town of 3,800 just 28 miles southeast of St. Paul.

I am one of those happy spectators who enjoys parades. My brother John not so much. At the crack of dawn he straddled his motorcycle and hightailed it out of town to escape the hoards of visitors who would soon overtake most of the streets and available parking spaces along the parade route. And the parade route passed too close to his otherwise quiet street for his comfort.

I on the other hand with camera and lawn chair in hand, walked the one block from John’s home to Minnesota Street to pick out the best spot to see and shoot the parade.

As a reporter and photographer, I’ve covered parades in Yucaipa, Fontana, Hemet, San Jacinto, Beaumont, and Banning, California over the past 10 years.

But none compares with little Cannon’s parade. Why? Tractors. I grew up on a farm. I learned to drive a tractor when my feet could barely reach the pedals at the age of nine. John Deere’s, Massey Harris, Allis-Chalmers, Farmalls, Minneapolis Moline, Case, Oliver, Ford – I love them all.

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