I think the real itch started when I bought my first house, that had a driveway, and sidewalks to plow snow on. My first tractor was an old "knee burner" 1959 Wheel Horse that I brought back from the dead, and mounted an 8HP Briggs on. My Dad got a deal for an old Ford that had a Johnson front end loader mounted on it. He also got a spare "parts" tractor along with it that was the same thing, but a Jacobson with broken transmission gears. He gave me the Jac, and a snow plow, that I rebuilt, and painted.
Over the years, I have probably bought/fixed/sold about 30-40 garden tractors, and currently have 4 in the barn right now.