For Jan Morrison of Milan, a quick glance at an old tractor can bring back a rush of memories.
That’s what happened Saturday as she walked through the first Heritage Tractor Show held Saturday at John Deere Commons in downtown Moline.
The show featured tractors made in 1970 or before, of all brands and colors, and they included a couple models that Morrison recalled from growing up
on a farm.
“I remember these because of my dad and my grandfather,” she said, touring the display with her husband, Don, sister, Phyllis Lang, and brother-in-law, Ray Lang, of Grinnell, Iowa. “You can take the girl off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the girl.”
A steady, but small, stream of people walked through the display throughout the afternoon, after quite a few lined up along city streets to watch the tractors parade through downtown earlier in the day, assistant manager Kristen Veto said.
And it wasn’t just a parade of green. Several other brands — including Massey Harris, International Farmall and something called a Cockshutt — were lined up at the commons.
For many, seeing or owning some of these tractors is nostalgic. That’s why Glenda Dobbins and her husband, Howard, of Durant, Iowa, said they bought their 1940 John Deere B and 1946 102 Massey Harris, which were part of the show.
“The 1940 is identical to one I learned to drive as a kid,” Howard Dobbins said. “My dad is 92. He lives in Nashville, and he’s never seen it, but I’m going to take it down there to show him soon.”
The Massey Harris looks like one Glenda Dobbins’ dad, 81-year-old Herb Lamaack of Wilton, Iowa, used to drive, she said, as he nodded in agreement from his seat in a lawn chair nearby.
Even at his age, Lamaack joked, he still farms. So does his wife, 79-year-old Twyla Lamaack. They brought two tractors they still operate on the farm: a John Deere 4010 Diesel made in 1963 and a John Deere 4020 from 1964.
Those tractors caught the attention of Ray Lang, who farms 2,400 acres in Grinnell. He said they look like the models he started out farming with in the 1970s.
But the event drew more than just farm folks.
Holding her camera up to snap a photo, Mary Brunstrom Meadows of Moline smiled broadly as she watched her 2-year-old grandson, Jackson Hafner, run happily from tractor to tractor.
She said she decided to bring Jackson and his mother, Seeley Brunstrom, visiting from Colorado, to the tractor show because he is suddenly very interested in tractors.
“Say ‘tractor,’” the boy’s grandma said.
He just giggled, with his blue eyes sparkling, sitting at the steering wheel of a big green tractor.