What do you say about a man that changed the face of the antique tractor collecting hobby? Almost anyone that has been to the Half Century of Progress or the I & I Club’s Historic Farm Day’s has seen Darius’s hand at work. He could move mountains with a phone call or a look.
Darius passed away on July 21, 2016 and he will be missed. When I saw him for the last time at Penfield just a couple days before, he drove up to me in a golf cart as we were loading up our Graham Bradley tractors to take home. “How was the show?” he asked.
I told him we had broken the record by one tractor and he said, “That’s all you need.” Then he whirled away and was gone.
The Graham Bradley club first came to Penfield in 2010 and it was Darius and others at Penfield that allowed our group to get their start. Keith says that was the beginning for this group of collectors that returned ten years later under the motto, “Back where it all began”.
Darius allowed me to be part of the Half Century of Progress and the memories I will take away will always remain. For an article I am working on for Farm World about Darius, I spoke with Russel Buhr who made the comment, “He had a way of asking that seemed to get things done.”
There was something about Darius that made it down right impossible to say no even when he called at 3:30 and needed something by 4.00. He was a force to be reckoned with.
All the people I spoke to reiterated that the show whether you are talking about Half a Century of Progress, or Historic Days will go on, but just knowing he is not there will make it different. It will be a bit like going to a class reunion, you can return to your high school classmates to reminisce, but you can’t go back to high school.
For me and I think many collectors the shows are going to be divided into the WD with Darius and AD after Darius. No words can describe the kind things he did for so many and how he moved the antique tractor collecting hobby into the limelight. Darius Harms was all about preserving agricultural history, a cause I am addicted to.
There are really no words to sum up who he was and what he did. He will surely be remembered for many years to come.