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Dad’s Dutch Friends

My dad has a thing for old tractors.


Adam and my Dad on an old John Deere.


And he also spends quite a bit of time on a message board for old tractors.

And he used to be a tractor mechanic.

And when the implement dealer announced they were closing, and Dad was losing his job, the first thing he did was take the big, black parts manual home.

So, when some Dutch guy started asking questions on a chatboard about restoring an old John Deere, guess who had all the answers?  That’s right.

Two years later, Dad was still pecking away with his pointer fingers on the keyboard, trying desperately to learn how to send his buddy Wiecher (pronounced Veeher) pictures of spring planting in Iowa.  And Wiecher was packing his bags.


Wiecher and Dad contemplating another tractor problem.


In June, Wiecher, his wife Marion, and friends Peter (another tractor enthusaist) and Gerrie came from Holland to see us!  Well, mostly to see the tractors, but to see us, too!


Mom, Marion, Gerrie

They flew into New York, rented an RV, and drove to Iowa via Niagara Falls, Chicago and Minneapolis.  A long drive.  Then, they parked in my parents yard for a week and toured area farms, visited implement dealerships, and went to the big Two-Cylinder Expo in Waterloo, Iowa.img_2583

Peter and Gerrie (Peter likes blue New Holland tractors…we had a hard time getting him on this JD!)


Wiecher and Marion

Although we were all nervous to meet each other at first (Wiecher admitted they were nervous, too) I cannot even describe how well everyone got along.  They spoke English well enough to understand my dad’s teasing and jokes, and we were all very at ease around each other.  I truly hope we get to visit them someday, too.  But it’d be pretty cool if they bought a retirement/vacation home here, too, which they did mention!  Wouldn’t that be fun?

Isn’t the internet amazing?  Of course, we bloggers know the power of internet friendships, but isn’t it cool that two men in their 50s, half a world away from each other, found each other through a common interest and the World Wide Web?

Very cool, indeed!


Adam in his “clompen”s.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Your dad is far more tech savvy than mine. It took my dad a while to break down and get a cell phone. We gave him a computer 2 or 3 years ago and its still sitting on the floor in one of his spare rooms - remaining unused! haha!

  2. I work for Case, so I can appreciate the tractor pics. Although Deere is our biggest competitor! DOH

  3. Way cool! My mom traveled through the town of Montrose, Colorado and liked it so much she wrote to the post office to request a pen pal. She and Joyce have become great friends over the past 20 years, and we all have made frequent visits to see each other. It's often amazing how we meet the people who leave heart prints in our lives!

  4. My dad won't even use email!!! He gets too mad when spam comes through! That is wonderful that they made that connection and were actually able to get together! So fun! We lived in Germany for 2 1/2 years and we became very close to our neighbors. The internet has been wonderful to keep in touch! We even took Jemma to visit them in January! You will have to go back in my blog and look at a little bit of Germany and Paris!

  5. Men and their tractors ... definitely something they can bond over, regardless of how far away they live from each other and what kind of technology is required to communicate! What a great story! :)

  6. Very cool! BTW- My Dad restores antique JDs too!

  7. VERY sweet story... I love the fact that you said World Wide Web. My best friend, Madeline always says that. :)

    My dad loved tractors and worked on them quite a bit after he retired.

  8. If my parents would just break down and pay for satellite internet, my Dad would be on there all the time. He loves to connect with people, he loves finding long lost relatives, and he really loves talking about all the things farmers "invent" to keep a place running. But that slow dial-up really limits the interactions. :)

  9. These are the cutest pictures of your little boy and his friend at the fair! I have a 'family blog' and to me, it is like scrapbooking on-line! You will cherish all of these photos for years to come! Thanks for stopping by to see that big ol' tree (imagine that being said in a drawn out southern twang!) in Charleston, SC. We lived there for about 10 years and I was kicking and screaming when we moved to the upstate of SC in 2000...it is such a lovely place...the trees, the ocean, the town...I miss it so, but take my kids as often as I can! Have a great weekend! three pixie lane