Bits and Pieces
Bomb The Tractor
We’ve all heard of the aviation wars that are going on around us: fixed wing versus rotary wing, residential developments versus airports, regulators versus pilots; but here’s a new one: bombers versus tractors!
A tractor’s life is on the line in the little hamlet of Millarville, Alberta. Earlier this year a local resident, Paul Teskey, donated a vintage Massey Harris Model 44 tractor to the local Priddis-Millarville Fair to raise money for the fair and to raise awareness about farm safety.
The tractor rolled through parades in the villages of Black Diamond and Okotoks, proving to be the delightful mascot, until a fighter pilot for the Canadian Air Force saw it and decided it would make a terrific bombing target at the Cold Lake, Alberta, Air Weapons Range, where NATO pilots would take turns dropping 2,000 pounds of concrete from 20,000 feet. It seems obvious that if in fact they scored a hit, it would do quite extensive damage to the tractor.
Captain Reil Erickson, a Millarville native and now a fighter pilot with the Canadian Air Force, began buying raffle tickets on the tractor, hoping to win the antique target. Her colleagues are in cahoots with her and are also buying tickets.
The community soon got wind of the nefarious plan and organized a grassroots, unofficial ‘Save Millie the Tractor’ campaign. “There are some people who see it as a tractor that is still good and don’t want to see it getting wrecked,” Tesky said, and the campaign-to-save-Millie folks are also getting out and buying books of 40 raffle tickets.
Since each ticket costs $5, every book of tickets sold is a $200 investment in using the law of statistics to reduce the fighter pilots’ chances of getting the tractor.
Erickson, who actually went to elementary school with Tesky, would like the pilots’ side to win the tractor, then have it hauled some 658 kilometers north to Cold Lake and see it blown to bits. “I have tender feelings for tractors, but at the same time, I’m in the business of defending countries,” she said, adding, “And I like seeing things being destroyed!”
“As much as everybody says, ‘Oh, poor Millie,’ we’re all of the opinion that we would give our lives for our country and that’s what Millie would be doing,” she said. “It’s an honourable end.”
Raffle tickets are available at the Millarville Farmer’s Market.
Ref: Okotoks Western Wheel, July 14, 2010