By: Rob Bick
Back in the late 70s my father had one of the first John Deere Spitfires affectionately known as “the frog.”
One winter day he was loading “the frog” on the trailer out in the driveway. All of a sudden, commotion and loud socially unacceptable phrases could be heard ricocheting off the various buildings. We ran outside only to see what could only be described as “impossible.”
The trailer was tilted up, the sled was partially on the trailer, my father was on the ground perpendicular to the trailer, and the toe of his right boot was somehow lodged under the rear idler between the track and the idler itself.
One can only guess what laws of physics were violated in order for that to happen. The old marine done in by the “the frog.”
Needless to say, track adjustment attempts and idler removal attempts failed miserably. Finally, the local volunteer fire department was called.
Picture this: A group of fire fighters standing around not knowing what to do, a marine flopping around in the snow with his foot unceremoniously attached to the idler of a John Deere, and the best idea from any of them was “cut the track.”
Deere 1. Marine 0.
Cooler and younger heads prevailed and we proceeded to cut the toe off his boot, providing some wiggle room.
From that moment on my father developed a hatred of snowmobiles and that eased only when I was old enough to buy my own.
Lets just say that I always keep an eye on my feet when loading a sled as a nod to the old marine.