Our Story

So you’re looking for a John Deere lawn tractor…

You’ve probably been to the local home improvement mega stores searching for a new lawn tractor, but something is holding you back…

What?

Maybe you remember the good ‘ol days – when you purchased a lawn tractor or any major appliance – it was meant to last. You take one look at today’s lineup of lawn equipment and you shake your head – and walk away.

Today’s generation doesn’t understand that concept. But how could they?

A Bygone Era…

They’re a product of the throwaway generation.

It’s not a criticism of them. They simply grew up in it. They don’t understand what craftsmanship truly means…what quality or heirloom items are. To them, Ikea is fine furniture. Ask them if they can identify dovetail drawers and most will give you a confused look.

Heck, I’ve had inquiries from millennials about the John Deeres. As I relate the history and describe the craftsmanship, I absentmindedly reminisce about other by-gone classics, like the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner with 425 hp or a 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS, with a 454-cubic inch engine and a whopping 500 units of horsepower. It went from 0-62 in six seconds flat. Man, that’s when a car was a car.

Can You Relate?

Today’s generation grew up with the how-many-miles-to-the-gallon-can-I-get philosophy. Nothing wrong with that belief, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing a car enthusiast wanting to restore any 2010 Ford Taurus, right? It’s probably destined for the junkyard (or already there), just like today’s appliances. They may have a life span – but not a very healthy one –  five years if you’re lucky. After that, if it breaks down, it’s cheaper to just throw them away.

There’s something wonderfully nostalgic about the John Deere’s, or any classic piece of our great American history, from gas pumps to pop machines. When it comes to Deere’s, whether it’s everyone’s favorite – the infamous 318 – or the built-like-a-tank 430, they just seem to ignite something with us.

It’s almost as if we can recapture the past…good times spent helping our dads maintain them, changing the oil, sharpening the blades, or replacing spark plugs. Compared to today’s digital world where everyone is glued to their phones 24/7, those times spent alone with dad or grandpa in the garage – talking about motors or sometimes nothing at all – seem a million miles away.

Take Pride in What You Own

I learned a lot about motors – and a lot about life that way. I learned how things work…and how to fix them when they didn’t. And throwing things away? That wasn’t an option. Back then, we learned to take care of what we owned. There was a pride in ownership then that’s largely missing today.

At Green Ridge Restorations, the foundation of what we do and the philosophy we believe in can be summed up in the classic quote by Ernest Hemingway:

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

And even for us rugged guys out there, there’s a comfort factor, too. One customer related how he and his dad would spend time together in the garage, whether working on the JD or something else that needed it. Today, long after his dad passed away, just being around a John Deere brings comfort to him…recalling those good ‘ol days in the garage, tools all around and the familiar smell of gas, grease, and oil.

A famous newspaperman once said nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days. Yes, I guess that’s the truth of it. The good ‘ol days had their share of bad days, too, but we have fond memories in items like John Deere’s or tools from dad – items that our parents or families treasured. Our loved ones pass away, times change, and values shift. That’s just life.

But the items they cherished  – or more importantly, the nostalgia they invoke – fill us with comfort from the good ‘ol days.

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