Cake and coffee will be available at a Northern Iowa John dealership on Friday, but not to celebrate his 75th birthday on Saturday.
George Johnson, a green and yellow Deere man all the way through to his marrow, is fading into the corn pasture after 45 years of fixing John Deere tractors and some other brands' machinery that comes before him - albeit begrudgingly.
"I have been on that stuff long enough that I know where the quality is at," he told the Estherville Daily News. "I don't even like to see them other colors come in here … We work on them, though."
During his four-and-a-half decades on the job, the biggest difference he has noticed is the widening scope of the horsepower. What first began as 8-horse engines has more than tripled to as much as 27-horsepower.
The most peculiar work assigned to him was a John Deere corn planter that was horse drawn.
When he showed up to do the work, the 1930s-era Deere was linked to two Belgians. But he still got 'er done.
Johnson has taken on the tasks of restoring three old tractors that date from 1968 to 1972. One of those three he had to re-assemble from the crate.