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Little Johnny

Posted September 05, 2012 in Community Featured, Urbandale

It’s not uncommon for family members to pass down heirlooms or even classic cars to relatives to keep the tradition alive.

Amy Day and her son, Riley, on her 1969 Custom Color Series Spruce Blue John Deere riding mower.

But it’s not every day that someone has a lawn mower passed down through generations, which is the case with Amy Day. Day received her 1969 Custom Color Series John Deere Spruce Blue riding mower from her father, Robert, as a wedding gift in 2005.

“It was a big surprise when he gave it to me, and it was a very practical wedding gift. It was a great gift, but I think he thought that if he passed it on to me, he could go out and get a new mower,” Day laughs.

Day was familiar with the mower from her childhood.

“He got it in 1982 from a neighbor in Missouri,” Day says. “I fondly remember riding it without a blade when I was 5 years old. And then when I was 11 or 12, it became my job to mow the lawn, and I have been mowing grass ever since.”

Day enjoyed the mower so much she would reclaim her grass cutting duty when she came from college.

“Any time I came back home on the weekends or on break, I mowed the yard,” she says. “I still mow my yard with it today, and it runs as good as it ever has.”

The mower not only has sentimental value, but it has history on its side. John Deere introduced the Custom Color Series, also known as “Patio Models,” in 1969 with four colors including Patio Red, Sunset Orange, April Yellow and Spruce Blue. Robert nicknamed the mower “Little Johnny.”

“Whenever I tell people I have a blue John Deere, they don’t believe me until they see it,” she says. “Some people from a John Deere museum approached my dad about buying it, but he turned them down. And when I took it in a while ago to have it serviced, all the employees were pretty impressed I had one, and that I still used it.”

Day has no plans of getting rid of the mower and looks forward to mowing the yard with it for years to come.

“It has been in the family for more than 30 years, so it’s about as sentimental as a mower can be,” she says. “It reminds me of some great memories from my childhood, and I plan on mowing with it until it quits running.”

Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or darren@dmcityview.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”





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