When Jack Cherry decided to cancel Expo 26 — 2021, I was not in favor of his decision. I felt that he was being overly guarded and cautious regarding COVID and the extenuating circumstances which had developed due to shutdowns and mandates. I felt that COVID was being politically weaponized and the methods which had been put in place were too extreme. My feelings changed, however, when in October 2020 my oldest brother died from complications of COVID. He had sent me a birthday text in September; it was the last communication I had from him. He was isolated in the hospital’s ICU and intubated for a month. When it was determined that there was nothing more that could be done for him, he was taken off the ventilator, and only lived long enough to tell his wife and two adult children goodbye. In late February 2021, his 43-year-old son was required by his employer to get a COVID vaccination. His health immediately deteriorated, which led to highly skilled medical care and intubation at one of the largest hospitals in Iowa. He died from complications on May 1, 2021. Jack died July 3, 2021. Hindsight proved that he had made the right choice at the right time.
Expos are a celebration which showcase the achievements of individuals who have restored the finest examples of John Deere Tractors and Equipment. That celebration brings people from all over the country to a specific concentrated venue. Event organizers have responsibilities which include the safety of the participants as well as the attendees. Expo 26 was announced in the November–December 2021 issue as a tribute to Jack’s life and involvement with John Deere. However, no one could have predicted (when the decision was made in October 2021) the dramatic changes which have occurred within our society and economy:
Jack was a product of the “silent generation”(1925–1945) and was raised during a period of war and economic depression. I remember him writing about and warning current-day collectors to not let their hobby interfere with or take away from their primary responsibilities of work, family, and home. The circumstances which now affect all Americans cannot be ignored. Continuing to consume limited fossil-fuel resources for non-essential purposes is a situation that could lead to dire consequences. Crops must be harvested by farmers in attempts to continue to feed the world and combat rising food costs. Events that require extensive travel by participants and attendees need to be evaluated by those promoting them. How many precious gallons of fuel are being wasted for the sake of frivolity? Bringing thousands of people from across the country only spawns a new set of breeding grounds for contagious viruses. And my biggest concern is the safety for attendees, of which there is no guarantee. The local escalating violence is a very real and dangerous situation. I cannot and will not put anyone in harm’s way or ask them to attend an event which could put a strain on their family financial obligations. The decision to cancel Expo 26 has been very difficult, but I feel it is the most conscientious action to take. If you have any comments, please do not call the Club office, but rather send your thoughts via letter or Email and I will publish them in the next issue of Two-Cylinder.
This solid-brass, serial-numbered Award is presented for exhibits (tractors or equipment) that has been maintained or overhauled to a level of excellent operating condition, and cosmetically restored to “like-new” appearance.
This solid-brass, serial-numbered Award is presented for exhibits that are restored to superb condition in virtually every respect. A single significant paint run or body file mark is too much. Surprisingly, about one in five careful restorations make the grade. All exhibits that receive the Superior Restoration Award also receive the Certified Expo Quality Award.
This solid-brass, serial-numbered Award is presented for exhibits that have been maintained in excellent original condition.
Mechanical repairs are acceptable, but not appearance restorations other than perhaps replacing worn out seat cushions and other minor corrections. Such exhibits have the distinction of being “Too Good To Restore” in the opinion of observers.