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The Christmas Tractor (part 11)

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I thought I would write part 11 today due to the snow keeping me inside for the day. 


So, Mr. Pond and I sat down in his beautiful Florida living room.  We started by getting to know one another. The first thing that Mr. Pond told me was that he had no interest or any thoughts about Wheel Horse in the last few decades other than recently receiving a letter from a young man fascinated with Wheel Horse.  He told me that he couldn't believe that Dustin and Dan Mesenger collected the tractors he built.  I went on to tell him about our first Wheel Horse gathering and my collection. He was just flabbergasted that anyone would collect his tractors, never mind several people.


Mr. Pond had been thinking about having someone write his biography for some time. He also felt strongly that the history of Wheel Horse should be documented with accuracy. As we began our historical journey, I recorded every word of our conversations (and boy am I glad I did. I never expected there to be so much information). After about three hours of talking, Mr. Pond treated me to lunch at the Piper's Landing Club House. It was obvious that this private community with palm trees lining the streets was not your average neighborhood. It is an elite golf and yacht club, within a gated community.


That night, I headed south to West Palm Beach where I was able to visit and stay overnight with my Godmother. I had a wonderful visit, however, I must be honest when I tell you that I couldn't stop thinking of what transpired that day. Early the next day, I drove back to the Pond's home. I was thinking how funny it is that you can make an instant connection with some people. That is what happened between Cecil Pond and Michael Martino. Once again, I drove past groves of oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. Beautiful!  We planned our next get together. It would be in June at his home in South Bend.


My flight home on Sunday seemed to pass by in a second as I listened to the recordings. Soon I arrived back in the frozen tundra known as Connecticut.   I began listening to the recordings. I listened, listened, and listened. Then I listened even more. I listened even more and like a courthouse stenographer, I wrote down every word, rewinding and replaying every sentence.  I also took advantage of Mr. Pond's offer to call him, anytime that I had a question.

Part 12 of the story will be about when I headed out to South Bend for my next get together with Cecil E. Pond.


Merry Christmas,

Mike Martino

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