ARCANUM — Taking the time to make memories is important. I vividly remember holding my grandmother’s wrinkled hand, walking to the corner store and eating frozen custard afterwards, chatting (as only a 5-year-old can) about all the “important” things in life. She always patiently listened (as grandmas do), offering words of wisdom that I did not understand until years later. There wasn’t ever a thought, in my youthful mind, that there would come a day that I wouldn’t see that beautiful smile and blue perm.
Those “small graces”— hugs, smiles, good advice and a listening ear — are priceless treasures, and one Arcanum boy is determined to learn as much as he can from his grandpa, and cherish those “small graces” that come his way.
Ten-year-old Jensen Detro (along with younger brother, Ezra) have been busy making memories with their grandfather, D’Kim Detro, as they spend time fixing up a 1977 Model 214 John Deere Garden Tractor to show at the Greenville Farm Power of the Past event, happening July 8-11, at the Darke County Fairgrounds.
As a child, Jensen’s dad, Jared Detro, used it to mow the grass on the family’s Arcanum farm, so it was a fun restoration project with a special connection.
“My son Jared and I enjoyed taking tractors to the “Farm Power of the Past,” since 1998, when he was ten years old, so it’s like going ‘full circle’ for me, now , working on this project, and taking my grandson, Jensen.”
Greenville’s “Farm Power of the Past” was organized in 1998 in conjunction with the Darke County Tractor Pullers event, to help preserve the region’s Agricultural heritage and share this history with others. Members plan restoration projects throughout the year to show at an annual gathering each July. Now in its 22nd year, Greenville FPOP brings collectors and tractor enthusiasts of all ages to celebrate all things Ag, featuring International Harvester Tractors, Equipment, Lawn and Garden tractors, trucks and more.
“It’s important to instill an appreciation of the past in the young…Many are third, fourth, and even fifth generation in the community, so it’s important to remember that things were not like they are today,” said D’Kim. “You need to know ‘the basics,’ — how to get to know and respect people…do the right thing, and learn how to fix things,… getting away from the T.V. and being more outside, in nature, in the open.”
Jensen, who had also spent time with his great-grandfather, is excited to work alongside his grandpa, getting the tractor ready. “Great-Grandpa loved building things and fixing things. It’s really important to know how to fix things. My Dad is the best dad, and my Grandpa is the best grandpa. If you have the right tools, you can make it!”
Most of all, Jensen appreciates just being able to look forward to working with Grandpa D’Kim.
“Me and my brother like riding around with Grandpa on his 1952 Willys U.S. Army Jeep, and doing ‘country stuff,’ like fishing, mowing, taking rides, working on the boat,” said Jensen. “My Great-Grandpa used his tractor all the time – a 730 John Deere. Me and my Dad got it fixed up. This tractor, that me and Grandpa are fixing, will be a really good memory. For my birthday, I’ll save up to find new things to restore. It’s not about the money, it’s about the love. ”
Grandpa D’Kim couldn’t agree more. “There will be a day that I won’t be here, but they’ll have these memories. They’ll say, ‘I remember when I worked on that tractor with Grandpa!’
As we celebrate Father’s Day, let’s celebrate and take time to make memories, cherishing all those “small graces” that often mean so much as we grow older.
Carol Marsh covers community interest stories and handles obituaries for Darke County Media. Have an event to share? She can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by phone at 937-569-4314.