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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
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It was a summer of 1994, my parents were married, Toy Story 1 was in theater previews, and my grandparents were coming over for an evening BBQ. Like every Saturday, it was dad and my turn to spend some quality time together. This often meant it was our weekly Saturday ritual to mow the lawn together and then lay on the freshly cut grass under the sun appreciating our efforts while doing father and son talk. I'd ask him how many blades of grass he thought were in the entire yard. He would explain to me that you could get an estimate by taking a square, counting the blades in it and then multiplying it by an estimated amount based on the square footage of our yard. The times I couldn't mow the lawn with dad were a pretty big deal when I had some other obligation with mom that day.

This mower is not just a machine to me. It represents fond memories growing up as a child and a time period where other family members like the best grandparents you could ever ask for were around. It's a vivid reminder of my past. It's a heirloom. It's the same, to me, as receiving something like an old watch that your grandpa or dad always wore.

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I know every intricate sound of this machine probably better than any other. I grew up hearing it run and my dad taught me the importance of caring for your power equipment with this mower at an early age. After every mowing, we would always wash it, clean the grass out from the underside and he would instill in me the pride that we should have in our equipment with it. It was the first machine I learned how to change the oil on. It was the first machine I probably ever used.

This is the 1990 Honda HRC216, "The Commercial."

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The Commercial, as my parents always referred to it as, was bought new by them a few years after they bought their house together in the mid 80's. It was a big yard and my dad wanted something heavier that would last a long time over the standard offering that wouldn't last as long. The HRC216 Commercial had come out in summer of 1989 and my parents who also had purchased their first new car in 1990 (a Honda Accord) found "The Commercial" to be the obvious choice for them. I guess it's easy for me to see why they have always regarded Honda as such a quality brand, especially my dad. There were a couple of times growing up that my parents considered purchasing a riding mower and I usually tried to persuade them in that direction solely for my own benefit of enjoyment of course. In fact, I remember the day we went to a John Deere dealer (the same dealership that eventually became my first job!) and they test drove several in the parking lot. I thought it had won them over. The Commercial, however, was always enough for my dad though.

Off To The Races

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As I grew a little older and my head was higher than the handlebar, my parents bought me my very own Honda walk-behind. While I sort of took over the role then to do the lawn mowing, my dad and I would often tag team with our machines which was a lot of fun. He would always bring out The Commercial and that to me was sort of like him flexing his muscles, I felt, while I had the lighter end version. It would always make me envious that he could keep his mower running when he emptied the bag (cool) while mine always had to be shut off (not cool.) We would even "drag race" our Honda mowers and my dad would usually rev his up to egg me on but The Commercial would always win the contest being the much noisier, heavier, and faster machine. It was dad's mower. It was the boss and I had always looked at it as being the ultimate lawnmower as my parents did and referred to it as.

There were tools of my dad's I saw wear out and get replaced, vehicles my parents bought and sold over the years, but The Commercial always stayed. I remember going to the dealer with him several times to have it serviced and feeling bad for it when we'd pick it up if it had been stored outdoors because that wasn't how we cared for it. I can only remember one time that there was an issue (maybe a recall) with one of the cables I think much earlier on.

In my mid-teens in high school my parents sadly divorced. I saw my dad less but we still had (and have) good times together. It was around that time I remember thinking to myself how special it will be to one day inherit The Commercial as it will be an artifact representing some of our close times together. It's not really about the machine when it comes to this, it's the meaningful memories, times past, and people it represents.

Bitter Sweet

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Over recent years, he had been talking about giving it to me as his yard was getting smaller and he was going to be getting something smaller (and I'm not going to mention the replacement as it would only be insult to this mower so we'll leave it at that!) but each time I did not push the opportunity as I wanted it to all be on his timing. September of last Fall, he asked me if I wanted to come over and take The Commercial as he said it was the last year of him using it. It was more emotional for me than him as I felt like it was a part of him that I was taking as I see nothing but him in that machine, but I knew he understood the significance of it and that he wanted me to have it. I hadn't looked closely at it in a long time and I remember moving it around, feeling its weight and having flashbacks- it was just the same as it always was and sounded like. As much as I had been looking forward to this day for years, a heavy lump in my throat set in due to a feeling of sadness that came over me after I brought it home. It was a reminder of the end of an era more than anything else; my dad was no longer using it anymore which didn't feel right- it had always been his and part of me didn't want that to change. Even though I'm in thirties now and those early days of he and I were so very long ago, it somehow made a statement inside me that my dad was older now and another chapter had turned furthering us away from those special days. If I could send it back in time, I would as strange as that probably is to say. Bah, I'm tearing up a little by typing this as I did when I brought it home and unloaded it. At the time, I told myself that I wouldn't touch it until next spring when I could come back to it with a fresh mind.

Spring is Here

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While it still feels like it should be dad's mower, I pulled it out and have been enjoying detailing it along with doing some maintenance while listening to some 80's/90's soundtracks that would've been played in our home stereo being the reminiscent person I am. There is no amount of money that could ever buy one of those Saturday afternoons back again.

Here is what The Commercial looks like today with a special feature at the end.

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https://youtu.be/JtFWBZbRP-8​
 

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This reminds me of the day my dad fist taught me how to use a chainsaw, and all of the times we spent together cutting wood for winter up here in Wisconsin. He has a pile of old chainsaws, from old blue ones from the 30's to early 80's. He fixed up a chainsaw from the 70's and gave it to me. The more relevant thing i was thinking was how sweet this story is. It reminds me of the summer i first dragged my great uncle Larry's old waterlogged 1971 new holland s-8 out of the crumbling basement of my grandma's storage building, and dragged it back to the house, and me not knowing how to fix mowers yet, my dad taught me. Unfortunately, when I dragged the mower out, i wanted to fix it and show it to uncle larry but he passed away last year. I still haven't fixed the mower since i kind of lost my ambition to do so, but this story has helped me realise the importance in keeping things special to you in good condition. My father and i haven't always gotten along but i will always remember our good times. Very nice story, friend.
 

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Austen,

What a great story! Thing don't have to be "old" to have meaning. Love the decal! What a great sounding and looking machine.
 

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I remember our first power mower. An orange (brand unknown) power drive reel type. Rope pull start. Several years later it was upgraded to a 20" (I think) rotary recoil start push mower with small wheels.I was never big enough to run the power drive reel mower but after Dad got the rotary mower I suddenly grew enough to run it ? ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Awesome story! Thanks for sharing! That mower looks like new!
Thanks a lot, Kenny!!

WELL SAID! Thanks for sharing your story and the video, I think most of us can relate to your story and have appreciation for anything that reminds us of good times and memories long ago , Thanks again for sharing.
Thanks, Vrdaddy! It is super special to have things like this that take us back to another life. :thumbs:

This reminds me of the day my dad fist taught me how to use a chainsaw, and all of the times we spent together cutting wood for winter up here in Wisconsin. He has a pile of old chainsaws, from old blue ones from the 30's to early 80's. He fixed up a chainsaw from the 70's and gave it to me. The more relevant thing i was thinking was how sweet this story is. It reminds me of the summer i first dragged my great uncle Larry's old waterlogged 1971 new holland s-8 out of the crumbling basement of my grandma's storage building, and dragged it back to the house, and me not knowing how to fix mowers yet, my dad taught me. Unfortunately, when I dragged the mower out, i wanted to fix it and show it to uncle larry but he passed away last year. I still haven't fixed the mower since i kind of lost my ambition to do so, but this story has helped me realise the importance in keeping things special to you in good condition. My father and i haven't always gotten along but i will always remember our good times. Very nice story, friend.
It sounds like you and your dad have some neat memories cutting wood! Neat that he has a vintage chainsaw collection, some of those are really, really, cool. Good stuff, I'm glad it was motivational and hopefully you will finish off the mower you intended to fix. :thumbs:

Austen,

What a great story! Thing don't have to be "old" to have meaning. Love the decal! What a great sounding and looking machine.
Hey, thanks a lot, Mark! Thank you for checking it out.

I remember our first power mower. An orange (brand unknown) power drive reel type. Rope pull start. Several years later it was upgraded to a 20" (I think) rotary recoil start push mower with small wheels.I was never big enough to run the power drive reel mower but after Dad got the rotary mower I suddenly grew enough to run it ? ?
The reel- maybe and old Jacobsen?

our first power mower was a Reo reel mower. This was also the first engine that I took apart and reassembled.

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Beautiful REO, Chris, they always look wonderful restored. Thanks for the picture and very nice job on the restoration. :thumbs:
 

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A Little Off Plumb
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Beautifully told story that brings back many fond memories for you and other readers including myself. Thank you for sharing
 

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Thanks for the picture and very nice job on the restoration. :thumbs:
Unfortunately that is not mine. I just stole the photo from the net so you could see what I was talking about.

Considering the age of your mower it is in beautiful condition. Your father was wise to have spent the extra money for the commercial mower as it has held up great in no small part to his care.

Thanks for the story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Beautifully told story that brings back many fond memories for you and other readers including myself. Thank you for sharing
Thank you, Stew, I'm glad this sparked others like yourself to reflect on good times past.

Unfortunately that is not mine. I just stole the photo from the net so you could see what I was talking about.

Considering the age of your mower it is in beautiful condition. Your father was wise to have spent the extra money for the commercial mower as it has held up great in no small part to his care.

Thanks for the story.
Understood! Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The way you describe the whole story is remarkable it brings so many memories of past golden days. I Must say it's a great story. Thanks for sharing
Thank you. It was a bit of an emotional experience for me when I wrote it.
 

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I borrowed a STIHL RM 650.0 T from a neighbor and was very satisfied with its use. The Stihl RM 650.0 T petrol lawnmower is relatively light, but I didn't find it fragile. It's based on a very sturdy and lightweight cast aluminum body with interchangeable protective pads and a front handle for lifting and carrying. Convenient! Try checking out this article about The best zero turn tires. It's not bad to have lawn mowers like this; I, for example, have an elevated lot. By the way, what else I really appreciated is that the soft handlebar has a very ergonomic configuration. It's effortless to steer.
 

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  • A neighbour lent me a Troy Bilt TB160 and I was very pleased with it. This push lawn mower from Honda is relatively light, but I didn't find it fragile. Earlier designs focused on productivity only, however, push lawn mowers require physical effort. It comes with an ergonomic adjustment handle with soft sleek grips, so you can adjust deck height without any hassle. Practical! Here's an article about the deck material of Troy Bilt. Such lawn mowers aren't bad; I have a sloped lot, for example. I liked how the soft handlebar had an ergonomic design. It's easy to steer.
 
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