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COLUMN: Facebook, tractor pull writer back home

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By Allison Shepherd

If you are on Facebook, you might have seen the page “If you grew up in ...” that has become a big talking point around town. I grew up in the western part of the state, so over the past week or so, I’ve found myself glued to the “If you grew up in Crittenden County” page where many have been reliving days gone by.
Many comments have centered around the good ole “88 Dip” the place to hang out and was the turnaround for the nightly cruisers. Yes, I grew up in a small town, much like Hodgenville. Many reminisce about great people and events of our community that have shaped who we were and who we became. It’s funny how you forget things from your past till someone brings it up, like taking piano lessons from Mrs. B in the back of Byford’s store or confetti that we threw at the ballgames, compliments of a local business form manufacture. Yes, it’s been a great ride down memory lane.
While looking thru the countless post, one series brought back a time in my life that I recently got to relive right here at the LaRue County fairgrounds, tractor pulling. My dad was a farm equipment dealer and he maintained the pulling sled that the Lions Club used for years. Those were the days, as I remember coming home early Sunday morning as the sun was coming up just in time to get ready for church, after stopping at the local Druthers for two sausage biscuits and orange juice.
A couple weeks ago at the LaRue County Fair, I sat on the bleachers, walked around the grounds talking to people and finally got to get back out on the track watching the tractor pull up close and personal. Watching the farm stock and then the hot farm classes brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart thinking back about all the times I shared these times with my dad. The adrenal rush of the whole experience was such a great feeling, especially when Red Inferno II went by me so fast that the camera couldn’t keep up. Hodgenville native Tim Hornback sure delivered on a promise of a good showing that night at the fair. Co owner of Red Inferno II, Hornback speaks fondly of the days when he first began tractor pulling to his newfound passion, streaming down the track around 25 mph in road gear.
Tractor pulling has come a long way. Today pullers have to have safety switches, all types of safety equipment, from roll bars to helmets, to protection on the tractor for spectators as well. Hornback co-owns the tractor with Charles Nall, and they are part of the Battle of the Bluegrass pulling series. They pull in southern Indiana, all of Kentucky and in northern Tennessee.
Hornback proudly displays a pink ribbon in honor of his wife Carolyn and her battle with breast cancer.
“Anytime we have a benefit pull, all the proceeds go to the cause,” Hornback said. “Tractor pulling is a good sport with good people and it’s such an adrenal rush. The ultimate dream would be to go pull in Freedom Hall during the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville but we’re sure having a lot of fun right now,” said Hornback.
Being the daughter of an International Harvester dealer, yes I bleed IH red, and that 1066 blaring down the track brought back a lot of great memories, even without my Facebook page. Just so we’re clear, my husband is a John Deere man, so there you go. To all that came to the fair to see the pulls, the mud boggs, the pageants, the mule show or any of the many other attractions, I hope something reminded you of days gone by, and maybe even started some new memories for you and your family. See you next year at the fair.