The strength of love, a traveling tractor story

Okay, I admit, this isn’t a tractor, but rather an Indiana Mule single cylinder cultivator that the story is about.  Well, the story is really about love that transcends and the importance of keeping a promise. 

At this year’s Florida Flywheeler show, Barbara Roby, along with help from her daughter Catherine Roby traveled from York, South Carolina to bring the newly painted cultivator to the show.  This unusual machine made by the Baylor Manufacturing Company is owned by Joe Hope of York, South Carolina and the cultivator was restored by Joe and his late son Randy.

Barbara and Catherine Roby with the Indiana Mule single row cultivator.

When I stopped to admire the beautiful machine I was shocked to hear from Catherine that Barbara’s husband Randy had passed away the previous week on Valentine’s Day, and per his wish, she, along with Catherine’s help brought the cultivator to the Flywheelers. How she was able to keep this promise while immersed in grief was amazing to me. 

Barbara told the story of how Joe Hope obtained the cultivator from a friend that had bought it to restore, then got into cars.  After switching interests, he set the cultivator aside and it sat in the dirt for the next 25 years.  Being up to the challenge, Joe bought it, brought it home and he and Randy started the restoration process.

“It took two years to finish and rebuild an engine,” Barbara said.  “They used pictures from a magazine to replicate the cultivator.”

While working on the Indiana Mule, they found a little bit of green paint and that is how they determined the color.  “It took seven years to get the cultivator running and this was eight to nine years ago,” Barbara added. “My husband painted it and had planned to bring it.”

Randy was unable to carry out his wish to bring it to this unusual show where visitors can find almost anything down one of the busy aisles.  However, together, Barbara and Catherine using the strength of love were able to carry out Randy’s wishes.  While the cultivator with the Le Roi engine was what made me stop, it is the memory of these kind and giving women that will remain.  May we all be loved this much and be blessed to come across this kind of love in our travels. 

So, this was a traveling tractor/cultivator story of a woman fulfilling a man’s dream because it mattered.