When we were young, we skied behind our Massey 65. We drew high card to see who’d ski. The loser had to drive.
That Massey tractor had no cab. Nothing there but air. We wore our heavy mittens and long handled underwear.
We didn’t have the bucks to buy tow lines for everyone. So, we braided baler twine and tied it to the tractor tongue.
We tied a double knot at the end of every line. It kept our hands from sliding off the frozen baler twine.
The gravel roads were covered with weeks of falling snow. A six-foot berm along each side challenged skiers then in tow.
We stopped at every farmhouse to pick up those who’d ski. I think we all were cousins, or kinfolk to some degree.
The Massey pulled us round our block, and that was four cold miles. But you should have seen us all back then with all our great big smiles.
One day the sheriff stopped us, said, “You’re quite a rowdy bunch.” I think someone had turned us in. Not sure, but just a hunch.
At least six boys were skiing. Three more were on a sleigh. A total of six barking dogs had come along that day.
The sheriff hopped back in his car and left without a word. Guess he knew we were all good boys, no matter what he’d heard.
By dark the skiers had enough. We all had frozen drawers. We’d take a minute to warm up, then out to do our chores.
Well that was fifty years ago, and now we ski downhill. But I don’t believe I’ve ever felt that same old boyish thrill
Of skiing down a country road and feeling so alive behind that old farm tractor, our Massey 65.