May 1 we lost a true friend, and the country lost another war hero. John Matson died in a motorcycle crash at 7:45 P.M. doing what he loved most – riding one of his custom creations, the “hog-wing”.
John went to Super Bike school six times and had a racing career cut short by a life threatening crash. Motorcycles were a second skin to John. Nobody was better on a bike, but as we found out he was not invincible.
Like many of our returning combat veterans, John had many personal tragedies, and he accepted them in stride. He believed that you must take responsibility for your actions, and he did. One of his favorite expressions was stop whining, accept the consequences, and move on.
John was an unbelievable talent and will be sorely missed on the farm. You were my best friend and I will miss your zest for life – RIP buddy!
Two veteran brothers, Richard McFarlin and Jim Schmidt, came to the aid of our ailing tilling tractor. Jim took the tractor north to Wisconsin where he lives and started on the re-build. Jim had the engine removed by Bill Rindl of Tennies Ace Hardware in West Bend, WI. The motor was then transported to the Moraine Park Training Center where a team of students from the small engine repair class re-built her.
Moraine Park Technical College (MPTC) Freedom Farm Tractor motor rebuild team. From left to right: Bill Gamerdinger, Alex Rusart, Jake Sedarski, and Instructor – Tom Denow.
Tractor is Wheelhorse C-195 powered by Kohler KT-19 engine. The engine over-revved because governor was defective. The team replaced piston rings, governor spindle, and several other components. Power cleaned and painted engine. Breathed new life into a 20 year old motor.
Jim then returned the engine to Bill to be re-installed and tested.
Running like a champ again!
Once that was complete, Jim transported the tractor back to the farm in time for our spring planting. Jim and Richard did all of this at their own time and expense, for which we are truly grateful. Thank you fellas, and thanks to the team at the Moraine Park Technical College for an excellent job – she runs great!
Thank you Bill Rindl for fitting our tractor into your busy schedule.
Back at the Freedom Farm, ready to go.