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Terry's Tractor...WAY OFF TOPIC!!!

TMHunt

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I was just thinking today that some of you might find this story interesting. Last weekend I went to a wedding of a lovely young lady that who's family will always hold a special place in my heart. See, her Dad was one of my best friends in life. We lost him to cancer in 2002. Its hard to believe he's been gone over 10 years and watching his oldest daughter marry brought back a lot of memories. Its not often that I sit some place and have a smile on my face and a tear in my eye, but that's exactly what the case was last week.

Terry Parlagreco lived in my old neighborhood, with his wife Shannon and his three daughters, He was a awesome carpenter, and avid beer drinker. So much so that unfortunately, he got into a little trouble with the local lawmen and lost his drivers licence for life. Obviously this was going to be hard on someone who had to get to job sites on a daily basis so he asked the judge if he could get a special permit to allow him to drive souly for work purposes. The judge swiftly replied. " The only thing you will ever be able to drive legally will be a lawnmower"

Now, Terry could be a real smartass. he was only about 5ft. 6in 150lbs. but if you ever argued with him or pissed him off, you had your hands full. He wasn't about to let some snooty judge keep him from making a living so, If all he could do was drive a lawn mower, than so be it. Terry got some unexpected time off due to a severe hand injury where he lost two fingers so in his downtime he pulled a old blownup 1973 wheelhorse lawnmower out from behind his shed and started piddling with it. It became apparent that he needed a new motor and that came when he bought a late 70's Honda motorcycle off of the junkman for 50 buck.........the snowball started rolling there.

Now, back before I had kids, and made good money,;) I used to fool with Harleys and old cars. The house I lived in only had a one car garage so I was wanting to build a larger two car with a shop and a living room (to watch the races and have parties) I knew exactly what I wanted, I also knew that in order for me to have it, like so many other things in life, I was going to have to do it myself. My Buddy Terry offered to help, but I told him that there was no way I could afford to pay him. Right then and there over a round of cold beers he made me a deal. He told me that he wasn't capable of doing the things he wanted to do to his tractor, and if I helped him build it and fabbed the parts, he would help me hammer every nail on my new garage. Hell Yeah I thought, whadda deal. Over the next 9 months we busted our asses, and true to his word, he was there almost every night and worked hard, even after he already worked a full days job.

To make a long funny/sad story short. about half way through Terry developed some swelling in his face, and once he went to the doctor got the bad news that he had level 4 throat cancer.............This was terrible news, but he wasn't scared, he went through chemo and surgery where he lost all of his teeth and 3/4 of his tounge. after one of his surgeries, I was shocked to come home and find him in my garage working on the electrical panel with a trache sticking out of his neck. Terry was not going to be stopped by anything.

Unfortunately, the story doesn't get any happier. We got pretty well finished with my garage, so to keep up my end of the bargin, we started tearing down the tractor and totally redesigned everything and got a plan together for what all he wanted. The last night I spoke to him we had a clear plan. He slapped me on the back and said, "see ya tomorrow buddy! we"ll get busy on it when you get off of work!" About 4 hours later that night he developed some swelling in his neck and started talking out of his mind, before his wife could get him to the hospital he went into cardiac arrest and never recovered. He died two days later on the night before Holloween 2002.

It was really hard losing my friend. it was hard on his wife, his kids. There just wasn't words to describe the emptiness his death left behind for so many. I didn't walk into my garage for about two weeks after his death, and when I did, the first thing I saw, was his tractor in a million pieces scattered across the floor. like it too had been defeated and in its own way was in mourning and giving up. I knew, that the tractor HAD to be reborn better, bigger, and badder than ever before. Terry always wanted to take the tractor to a national tractor pull in Bowling Green OH. to just show it off. It was five weeks away. I decided that it was going to be there no matter how much work had to be done. I called another buddy of mine (and Terry's) Glen Sawyer to assemble the motor while I fabbed the parts. After that 5 weeks was up. we found ourselves being very carefull not to screw up the still drying paint as we loaded it up in the trailer to go to Bolwing Green to show off the tractor and party like we never had before in honor of our good buddy.

Fast forward a couple of months after that. News of this "Mongrel Tractor" got around town. Or people saw it ripping down the road with me as its pilot giving it hell in a effort to keep myself connected to my old friend. The local newspaper did a story on it, followed by the bigger Indianapolis star. Then the Indianapolis news 8 channel called me up and wanted to do a news piece on it. So, attached it the actual news story that aired on TV. Check it out. its been a while since Ive dug it out. thought you guys might enjoy it........................Miss you Terry!




[video=youtube;lgHF_CYfg0Y]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=lgHF_CYfg0Y[/video]
 
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Jan 20, 2012
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Thats a really cool story, but the video uploaded is private-----you need to switch the settings to unlisted or public--
 

TMHunt

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O.K. still working on getting the video to work check back later.
 
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Very cool man! Love the tractor, it looks like a BAMF ride. The kind of thing you are constantly praying you don't kill yourself on and that is what makes it fun!

Sorry you lost your buddy but thank you for sharing your story.
 
Joined
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Haven't watched the vid yet, I will, but don't need to. That was a very touching story, Todd. Must have been very bittersweet to be at his daughter's wedding. I'm sorry you lost your friend like that; I have personal experience and losing someone you love to cancer just plain sucks. Still, if not for that, you might not have experienced those other things.....
Thanks again for a very moving story.
 

cbwoods67

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Oct 12, 2010
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True friends are hard to come by.

Sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing that story.
 
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