It All Started With A Yard Sale
By Bill (Barnyard) Weisbrodt
It was a typical Wednesday afternoon when my wife came home from work and said that one of the women she rides the bus with was having a yard sale on Friday and Saturday. The woman said she had several Kewpie dolls she was selling. Rosie mentioned that some friends of ours collected those and she would let them know. The woman said if we wanted, we could stop in on Thursday when they were setting up and take a look. I called my buddy Doug and told him about the dolls and he said he and his wife would stop in and take a look
When we got there on Thursday Rosie and our friends checked out the stuff laid out for the sale. I wandered over and looked at a Cub Cadet the owner had sitting in his yard. The guy came over tried to sell it to me. I told him I wanted a “Big” Cub. He pointed to a house up the road and said if I looked just right at the back of the garage behind that house as we left I could see a cub that had been sitting for a while.
As we left his house I did as he said and saw a yellow and white Cub peeking out of the weeds. Nobody appeared to be home so we drove on. I went past the house several days and never found anybody around. Finally on the following Monday I found the owner home and stopped in. The guy was willing to sell, but he didn't know what to ask for it and I wasn't sure what to give.
He said it came with his house when he moved in and he said it ran fine. He bought a new John Deere rider mower the year before and parked the Cub and let it sit. He said it sat for a couple of years and he never tried to start it again. I was missing the battery and looked like it was going to take some wiring work to get it going so I knew I would be buying a non runner. I told him I would think about it and let him know later in the week.
I did an internet search on Cubs and found Farmallcub.com. I did a little searching on the site and used the info I found to determine that the serial #, 120992, indicated it is a 1950. I read a few posts and checked eBay to see what the going rate was for a Cub. Armed with what I felt was enough info I headed back to the guy’s house.
Rosanne was a little concerned so I told her I wouldn’t give more than $600.00 for it. When I went back to the Cub the owner said he wanted $600.00 for it, Wow, I thought this guy was reading my mind when he said his asking price and it matched my max price. I took a chance and told him that if he could get it running I would give him that for it otherwise, as a non-runner, I figured it was worth about $400.00. We both knew it wasn’t going to run that day and it would take a little effort to get it running. After a little hagglin’ I ended up giving him $500.00 for my first Cub.
I visited FarmallCub.com several times after that to gather more info. I read as much as I could and found that my Cub should have been red and that a previous owner may have painted it later. In the meantime I found other Cubs on EBay and saw more posted for sale on the forum and figured I got it at a decent price.
I began to check out farmallcub.com more and more and I kept reading about CubFests and how everybody had a good time working on and playing with their Cubs. Not long after that Steve Butram and Jeff Silvey invited me to a CubFest about two hours away in Indiana. I thought why not? It would be a good chance to meet others and hopefully learn more.
I was apprehensive attending my first CubFest in Central Indiana and Rosanne didn’t know what to expect. Since we were headed into Indiana to pick up Cub #2 (Gee, that was fast) we scheduled the trip so we could attend. We only had time to spend about two hours and it was well worth it. The first person I met was Jeff but I didn’t let that stop me. Lol, you know I’m kidding Jeff. Jeff has really become a great friend over the years. Of course we met many of the others there also but they were quick hellos since we were leaving soon. Rosanne said she enjoyed her time with the other Cub Widows who were cast off to the shade tree while their husbands worked on their toys.
By October we were up to five Cubs and we ended up going to Great Lakes CubFest where we met Scott Beedon, Dan (Clem) Huggler, Eric (Geibes) Geib, and Paul F as well as some of Scott’s friends. Another good time and interesting things learned. I took Griswold, (the first Cub finally had a name) along since he had never run since buying him. With the great help of these guys it didn’t take long and he was running great. Lunch was great when Scott treated us all with Wimpy Burgers. These burgers are awesome but there’s only room for so many.
Everybody contributed in some way and made it fun. Rosanne enjoyed herself with Carla Beedon and Julie Huggler as they entertained the kids. Scott became the kid’s favorite later in the evening when he loaded the wagon with kids for a ride around his property.
Three months later a trip to George Willer’s WinterFest was in order. That started out being just a four hour trip up the road with just the Tahoe. By the time the date rolled around I had Cub #12 setting in Upper Indiana needing to be picked up. At the same time Phil Lenke had Sheila’s Demo Cub headed to Ralph’s courtesy of Podge (Deputy Jailer). Phil lives about 15 minutes from George and since I now had a Cub to pick up in the north there was no sense running an empty trailer. A short trip to Ralph’s and the demo was on my trailer and on its way to Oak Harbor. We dropped the Cub at Phil’s and then headed west for two hours to get our Cub and then east again to Fremont. That was followed by a good night’s sleep at Fremont’s fantastic Travel Lodge which has a little bear cub for a logo and bear cubs plastered everywhere in the room. No wonder Big Dog was staying there.
Morning found us meeting Big Dog and Lil Dog for breakfast where we hammered out a pact where we would not invade each others territory in search of Cubs. A day with George Willer and many forum members followed. For a winter get together there was a great turnout. George is as great a guy in person as he is on the forum. There was a lot to learn from everybody. Phil did a great job on my three carbs that needed to be helicoiled. Steve B was working on straightening carbs, Larry Dotson did some of his magic with a welder on Big Dogs hood and George fired up his lathe for some gas cap modifications. Rick Prentice was so busy with his newest invention, the front hitch, that he had to bring a bunch along to be finished. Wow, was this the start of KubKraft? There were so many people and so many projects that it was hard to keep track of it all. George even delighted in giving us all a little background on his new Rat Cub.
By the time winter was over Rosie and I was ready for a little vacation. I suggested we head to the Texas Tumble. Of course that is a 900 mile trip one way so gas expense was naturally a concern. I knew it had to be worth it just to go down and meet everyone but it was still a little hard to justify. Then the unthinkable happened. I decided to buy a Cub. Well another Cub that is.
Dan England had a nice Cub that I decided I liked. He said he would hold it for me to pick up at a later date. Dan is only four hours from the Tumble and we would be going near his place to get there. That made the decision a lot easier. Buy the Cub, pick it up and go on to the Tumble. It sounded good so we went for it. Another wise move on our part. Not only did we get a great Cub, we also had the opportunity to meet a ton of great folks. Donny Millar threw an excellent shindig that was enjoyed by all. I just have to remember to drive 70 mph on those two lane roads or get run over by crazed Texans, right Donny.
I have to back up a couple months to think about the winter night Rosanne and I decided to host a CubFest. So many questions swirled in our heads it was overwhelming. Do we have the right location? Can we make it work in an old barn that has no electricity? Will there be things for the attendees to do? And most importantly, Will they come? Let’s ask Big Dog, he’ll know what to do. His response was simple, “Do It”, he said. He said everybody will find a project to work on and things just seem to flow. It might be small at first but people will catch on.
That sounded good to me so the first “Barnyard Bash was held in May 2008. By then I had a new shop built in the smaller barn and had new electric service run from the street. The location was easy to reach from several interstates. Those who came either brought projects or helped on the ones there. We had about twenty five fine folks show up. The guys all stayed busy with the Cubs and the women enjoyed two days of whatever women do when their husbands are getting dirty. I must admit I am forever grateful to the women for seeing to it we were fed. They all sure know how to make the sweet, sugary stuff as well as the main course too.
Rick Spivey had his Cub as a project and the guys got a lot done to it. By early Saturday afternoon Ralph said they needed another project. I had bought a cub a couple months earlier and said they could check it out. Susie Q had sat under a tree for about six years and not run. The guys pulled the head off her and found a ton of carbon. A cleanup, fresh plugs and gas and a little cleaning of the points and this baby was rolling along at a good clip.
Rosie and I were just barely getting over the “Bash” when up pops Buckeye CubFest in June. Gene Dotson turned his home into a haven for many Cub fans to have a fun weekend and we sure did. Breakfast every morning by Larry was a great way to start off the day. I got to see Rick Prentice run his dyno for the first time and I put two of my Cubs on it. Chanel didn’t produce very good results but, Susie Q sure gave some promising numbers. Cecil and Lurker Carl were very helpful with the carburetor repairs and they even gave me tips on “How not to repair an idle tube”. Everybody seemed to have a project to work on and Rosanne and I had a great time meeting new folks. Being able to camp was nice to in that a bunch of the attendees could sit by the evening fire and spin a few tales as the sound of a potato launcher echoed in the distance.
A month later Rosie and I were on our way northeast again as we headed to Big Dog’s Buckeye Cub Tug. What a week end that was. More friendly faces to match with names. How can so many people have this one little Cub as a bonding agent? Lil Dog put out a practice breakfast from his new grill and we all gave it a raving review (the breakfast and the grill). Afterwards, several guys worked projects while Bob (Bugler) Sloane broadcast the event live via his mobile internet cam. Everybody at home tuned to Bugler’s network enjoyed the weekend as if they were actually there with us.
I had brought Marti along since she suddenly stopped running last winter while plowing snow and I never could get her to fire after that. Seth helped me get the tank drained and then we put on a new sediment bowl. Larry Dotson was very helpful in showing me how he makes a metal fuel line and we installed that. Once we had the fuel flowing good it was time to find out why it wouldn’t fire. With the help of Ralph, Rick Spivey, George Hibbs and Bill Hudson (the more the merrier and I hope I didn’t miss anyone) it was determined the timing was out, way out. So far out that it should never have been running when it was. A little adjusting here and some tweekin’ there and Marti roared back to life. Jim T showed me how to set the governor linkage and we were ready to roll.
Friday night was a full moon and that meant Lurker Carl, and Kevin Ketcham would be joining me as we howled at the moon. Of course Rosie and Cathy thought we were nuts, but that just added to the fun. It wasn’t like we planned to sabotage the other Cubs on the night before the big tug (Hmmm…). Although Carl acted like he had already had a hit of Kodiaks nitrous.
Saturday morning found everybody stuffing themselves with Lil Dogs famous omelets. The practice session paid off and I for one couldn’t eat another bite with as much as I put away. A bigger belly would have been very useful that day. After breakfast several of us started work on replacing our sickle mower knives. Rick Spivey showed me an easy way to remove the old knives and with the help of Kevin’s rivet tool we were able to do this repair with ease. Butch Zell and I worked together on mine and we both had a great learning experience. If you ever get a chance to work with Butch do it. He is a great guy and will be right there to help at anytime.
Saturday afternoon was the Cub Tug. Rick Prentice had run Susie Q on the dyno again for me that morning after I had spent the first part of July sickle mowing with her. I had put Sea Foam in the gas and she felt like she gained a little strength. The dyno proved my suspicions to be right. In just one month between dyno tests Susie Q gained 15% in horsepower and a whopping 33% in torque. Some of the guys felt she would be a good one for the tug so I thought “Why not”. Sure, I had heard all the others saying how tough their Cubs were, but I wasn’t afraid of losing. I had come just for the fun and dead last would have been fine, disappointing, but fine.
There were a lot of good pulls that day but when we got down toward the end and Susie pulled for 219 feet and a few inches I was as surprised as anybody. That was enough take the trophy as well as the ever beloved bragging rights. Being the modest person I am I will (try to) keep my boasting to a minimum so as not to rouse the others. The hard part would be trying to put up higher numbers the following year because I could already feel the others breathing down my neck.
That pretty much summed up my first year. The whole thing started all over again when we went back to CI CubFest in Indiana. Actually it was perfect since we had to go pass there to pick up another Cub (I’m beginning to see a pattern here). We made it to Georgia for Stonethrow (Golly wouldn’t you know, there would be a cub for sale along the way), Barnyard Bash II came and went, there was Cubfest at Rick Prentice’s, The Cub Tug came along again and I had to give the trophy up to Denny, but not without a fight to the end, and, of course, we had several Mini Fests thrown in between.
All these Cubs and Cubfests can keep a person busy. That is the fun part. If you have never made it to a Cubfest, by all means find the time to do so. All in all, Cub ownership has to be one of the best things around.
And my fun started with a yard sale.