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Ties That Bind

CHERYL TEVIS 02/12/2013 @ 11:43am Cheryl has been an editor at Successful Farming since 1979.

Time travel is a popular topic of best-selling books and blockbuster movies, from Star Trek, to Back to the Future, to the more recent Time Traveler’s Wife.

Characters go to great lengths, transported by advanced technology, to visit the past or to gain a glimpse of the future. I’m a big fan of time travel, too, but my mode is more energy-efficient than a spaceship or time machine, and almost anyone can ride along.

My time travel is fueled by family photos, newspaper clippings, letters, and other memoirs. My mission – and yours, if you choose to accept it – is figuring out a way to bring this history to life – along with the family members who made it – for future generations. Technology, like time travel, offers a launch vehicle to send a message to the future.

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Enjoyed your article on "Ties that Bind" really re 03/31/2013 @ 4:36am I have enjoyed your story “Ties That Bind.” I’ve been on my own quest since February of 2012. It was 2 days after my dad’s 88th birthday that went to his house to find out about what the first tractor my grandfather had owned and what other tractors he owned. I already knew all the tractors my dad had owned because he had always kept the owner’s manuals for all his equipment and about 10 years ago he gave them all to me. What I had wanted to do was make a history of tractors starting with my grandfather, through my dad and then all the tractors I had owned when I had farmed. Not only did he remember this but he remembered the tractors that his 5 brothers and 3 of the 5 brother-in-laws who farmed. When they switched from horses to tractors, what year they bought the tractors and make and model of the tractors for all of them starting with my grandfather’s 1929 Farmall 15-30 when my dad was just 5 years old. When the oldest of the family of 12 started to buy their own tractors, my dad was the youngest of the family of twelve and only around 10 or 12 years old. Still he was able to remember everyone’s tractors almost up to 1950. When I had this much information I sent out the story I wrote up from what my dad had told me and then worked up a Family Tree of Tractors as if went from my grandfather down to his sons. When I sent out this information I included information sheets for the rest of 28 members of the Eberspacher Family still tied to farming and asked them to bring me up to current date so we would have 83 years of tractor history. Then in another 17 years we will have 100 years of tractor history starting with one man and one tractor back in 1929. As of the day I’m writing this I need to hear from only 5 more relatives in 2013 and I will have 84 years of tractor history. I marveled at my dad’s memory and how he was able to recall all the makes, models and dates for everyone. I knew I would never be able to do that because back in 1994 I received brain damage from sinus infection that had gone through the bone and into the brain. It left me with memory lapses and non-typical migraine headaches 15 to 25 days a month at a 7 to 8 on a 0 to 10 scale. I finally had to take disability in November of 1999. By then the doctors had me 40 to 45 pills a day and just my copay was costing over $2,000.00 per month. It just wasn’t safe for me to be pushing myself anymore. Then in 2010 I was diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s so I knew I would not be able to remember like my dad had. After I started to have seizures last March and could no longer drive to pass the time at home I started to write down my life’s history and all the different experiences I have had over the years. It has been a slow process because I suffer from what my doctor calls “Word Searching” due to the brain damage. I’ll be typing along and all of a sudden the word I want isn’t there. I’m not talking big words they can be as simple as: while and where. Other times I just forget how to spell a word. The worst case of this happened in January of 2013. I wanted to type the word “of” and all I could think of was “ov.” It took me 20 minutes to figure that one out. But even with the slow progress I have come up with 21 stories. Some are only 2 or 3 pages long, most are 21 to 29 pages long and the longest is 65 pages for a total of over 350 pages of text. I have then went through all our pictures and pulled out around 300 of them and had them blown up to 8.5 x 11 inches and then put labels on then that corresponds to the stories. This has kept me busy for 9 months while waiting to get the seizures under control. My last one was June 23, 2012 and then I had to go 6 months without one before I could drive again. That meant December 23, 2012 was when the doctor gave me a clean bill of health to drive again. Looking back on it I’m really glad that I had the time to stay at home so I could document my life’s history for future generation. I’m 6’9” tall and thanks to all the medication I am on I weigh 400 pounds so that alone is something that will attract the great grandchildren. Let alone the fact that as my son is doing the proof reading for me on all my stories, he keeps telling her “I can’t believe my dad did that!” Again thank you for the good article this month. It was one that really hit home with me. Gerald (Gary) Eberspacher 402 North F Street P.O. Box F Milford, NE 68405 402-761-2712 geberspacher@gmail.com

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