I've been a machinery fan all of my life and I've worked on some pretty big stuff over the years, but I got cancer back in 2003 and then again in 2006. By the time I finished the treatments, I could no longer work on the locomotives and cars at the railroad museum, so a big part of my life ended. I retired on disability in 2006 and I began looking for a replacement hobby. A lot of my friends thought I would become a model railroader as I'd once been, but I soon ran into the same problem that took me away from that hobby and into the museum work: the little parts are hard to see and work on.
I already knew about the farm tractor hobby and had seen the garden tractors at some of the shows I'd been to: Georgetown, OH and Rushville and Brookville, IN and thought about that, but didn't do anything with it because I was living in a 2 bedroom ranch with no garage in a Cincinnati neighborhood.
Then it hit me like a bolt out of the blue when a friend of a friend needed help mowing his lawn. He had 2 Wheelhorse tractors: a Commando 8 and a rear engine 8-32 that I ran to mow his backyard while my friend Ed mowed the front with a push mower. I bought the Commando from Jim in 2012 and went on from there.