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Better Days Ahead
I suspect the promise of those 3 words is at the heart of every Chamber of Commerce promotional campaign in the State of Michigan these days. For the moment, I think we’ll adopt that same philosophy and apply it to the MMOGTA tractor pulling season.
It is true that the late winter/early spring period has been pretty decent for 2010, with seasonal planting even beginning in late March. We have had some very nice days, lower expenditure for heating energy, and no destructive storms to worry about, so far. We had every reason to anticipate a moderate and tolerable day to open the Transfer Sled season, but as history would indicate, we had no reason to expect one. Based on my decades of experience, the only kind of weather we never get in Michigan is “average” weather.
Leading up to the weekend, forecasts were grim, and unfortunately, accurate, as the night preceding the scheduled pull brought rain. I’m sure many were certain the pull would be canceled, but our hard working and talented track crew watched the rain taper off in the morning hours, and decided it could be done. The layer of mud was removed from the track, decisions were made, and about an hour behind schedule, we got the whole thing under way. Everybody brought out the Carhartts, hoods were pulled up, boots were greased, and the show went on. Turns out, it can be done. It’s not as much fun, it sure isn’t pretty, but it can be done. There was even a time in the middle of the day when the track became quite good. But then, later in the afternoon, the vicious east wind began to carry a mist that was barely visible to the eye, but was certainly noted by the rest of the senses. It dampened the coat, fogged the glasses, greased the track, and obscured even the most carefully guarded camera lens. You could almost read the muted cuss words in the visible exhales of the miserable track workers as the day wore on. And yet, they all stuck it out, knowing in the back of their minds that the makeup date in October could be just as bad.
The only two islands of relief on the premises were the kitchen and the announcer’s stand, both of which were well attended. Nothing like a hot order of fries, covered with gravy to take the sting out of an east wind in April.
We’ll take a moment here to thank all the intrepid workers who shared the misery and helped us get this one on the books. We shot just a few photos before scurrying back to the warmth of the booth for the rest of the afternoon, hoping that there are, ”Better Days Ahead”.
(click individual photos to enlarge)
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