Michael Perry's Voice Mail
Michael Perry's Voice Mail
Episode #212: Tractor Time

Episode #212: Tractor Time

...one more round.
My first tractor.

Howdy folks:

Welcome to Michael Perry’s Voice Mail, episode 211. This one’s available to free and paid subscribers alike. Click the player above to listen.

Last week I climbed into a big ol’ tractor and helped my brother with the planting (short video here). I was in a troubled state of mind, and that tractor helped. It also brought back a flood of memories, many of which I revisited in the book Coop, the memoir from which today’s reading selection is taken. Above all, I was a fortunate boy. And last week on that tractor I once again felt like that fortunate boy.

This week’s marginalia (scroll down) is from one of my old writing journals.

Thank you for listening. See y’next week.


Driving the neighbor’s tractor.
My view last week.
Brother Jed on the John Deere B. First tractor I ever drove. Standing up, like it says in Coop.

The book Coop, in all its iterations—print, ebook, audio—is available here. Paperbacks ordered directly from the site are signed by Mike.

My most recent book—Forty Acres Deep—deals with the darker side of farming. And mental health. But is also filled with scenes of what it is to farm close to the land. Available here.

Some of this episode’s marginalia is from the Rick Bass book The Traveling Feast, available from Amazon.com here.

All the books and recordings and Sneezing Cow can koozies here.

In the spirit of the theme, a goofy video by a group I wrote about back in my country music journalism days, The Tractors:


This week’s marginalia is culled from one of my old writing journals:

I was reading about Anthony Bourdain and thinking I should be braver in what I wrote. In a small way this note pushed me toward writing Forty Acres Deep. Of course I’ve also learned Bourdain paid a price. As did those around him. Which is also something for me to check in the mirror.
I feel like I wound up using this in a book or essay somewhere, but I can’t find it. Kinda self-explanatory. Lot of this goin’ around. Always has been.
From the Rick Bass memoir The Traveling Feast. Man, I’ve lived this for decades now. It helps temper my guilt for not being a full-bore Bourdain.
Also from The Traveling Feast. “I have outlived Kerouac and his jazz-pizazz.” Jotted it down because I enjoyed the punchy wordplay.
“An eye trained only for darkness makes for a lesser people.” Rick Bass again.

Okey-doke. See ya.

P.S. As I am obsessive and discovered it late, the fourth line of today’s episode should be, “That doesn’t mean I don’t need to sometimes find a way to shake it all.”

Michael Perry's Voice Mail
Michael Perry's Voice Mail
The audio version of Michael Perry's weekly "Roughneck Grace" newsletter. In addition to informal news and notes, Mike reaches into the SneezingCow.com archives and reads one of his "Roughneck Grace" columns aloud.