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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wife and I were out on our daily walk in the country and on a rustic road an interesting man aproached us on a golf cart. As he started to ask us the usual questions my wife noticed a hat he was wearing, it read Bolens and was adorned with many shiny pins all with logos that were familiar to her only by way of looking over my shoulder at the only thing I get excited about. she asked the man what the hat was all about and just as quickly he answered I am the OLD BOLENS MAN just as proud as he could say it. Shortly after he said get in the cart and we did, off to his garage we went. Behind the doors sat a few JD tractors and some others under tarps, a bean cutter, ride master, and a super rideamatic. The man was Hank Watkins and I had read many articles about him in our coveted magazines of which there are only a few for us GT guys. What a treat to meet such a nice fellow and hear the stories in person, it is a small world after all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sorry no pics, I do not own a cell phone and therefore do not have a camera glued to me. He has been featured in LAGC and is a member of LGTCOA and is at most midwestern shows with his tractors. It is always nice to meet others in the hobby, and to find people that live so close and you never met them.
 

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Tractorholic
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It is amazing what a small world it is! Just from collecting over the years, you get to meet so many different people that live within miles of your house that you never knew existed or shared the same passion you do about Bolens GT's. Just the other day I met up with Brian and I got to see some of his collection. I learned alot from him about different models and I also learned that both of our grandfathers were primarilly responsible for getting us into Bolens tractors. We shared some stories about our grandfather's, and I also noticed a mower deck out in Brian's driveway. I noticed something extra or an upgrade added onto the belt shielding. I mentioned to him that my grandfather made similar changes to his mower decks to keep grass out of the belt cover. Brian then mentioned that his grandfather made those covers, and that was the deck off his grandfather's tractor. It was neat to learn that both our grandfathers got us hooked on these tractors, both of them had the same ideas back in the day, and both did the same things to to upgrade their mower decks. I've been majorly involved in car racing, car shows, cruise nights, motorcycles, snowmobiling, atv riding, and Bolens GT's. Out of all those catergories, the nicest people I've meet have been from dealing with Bolens GT's. :thumbs:
 

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That'll teach you to be out walking without a gun. You never know what kind of person might sneak up on you!! Then, try to kidnap you on a golf cart with a promise of seeing some tractors. Do you still have both legs or did he talk one of them off? Maybe I should call him and tell him not to be harassing our forum members? Glad you had a good visit. :D :wave:
 

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Tractorholic
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Hank Watkins is a great guy and has a wealth of information about Bolens tractors. I have been to his home a couple of times, and have done some deals with him on decals and parts. He sometimes calls when someone asks for parts and he thinks I might have them. I only wish he was on line, and I have tried to suggest he ought to be, but last I knew, he was not.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We talked about him getting online and he says that technology is for the younger generation, even though I am a bit younger I can understand this as I do not even own a cell phone. as to the gun statement dont worry we were never in any danger my trusty sidearm was close by, jk. LPBolens if you are ever up this way again shoot me a message the day before, it would be great to meet you, we are walking distance from Hanks house. It was interesting to see how involved he was without the internet, it was a reminder that contrary to what every teenager thinks the world still turns without the internet let alone having it attatched to you constantly!
 

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I have come across the guy's name as he got an advert in LAGT magazine requesting serial numbers # for Bolens Ride Masters. Interest ly, my mate Chris knows of a Bolens collector in Nottinghamshire, UK who is very similar to Hank in that he 'does not do' forums or the Internet but yet he still got an amazing collection of Bolens, including 5 Ride a Matics. I know of one other UK collector, Iain, who got 5 RAMS as well. Make you wonder how many other collectors there are under the radar so to speak.
 

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DR. Bolens
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We talked about him getting online and he says that technology is for the younger generation, even though I am a bit younger I can understand this as I do not even own a cell phone. as to the gun statement dont worry we were never in any danger my trusty sidearm was close by, jk. LPBolens if you are ever up this way again shoot me a message the day before, it would be great to meet you, we are walking distance from Hanks house. It was interesting to see how involved he was without the internet, it was a reminder that contrary to what every teenager thinks the world still turns without the internet let alone having it attatched to you constantly!
I dont know if its for the younger generation anymore, a friend of mine who's in his late 70's knows how to use an I pad and I havent a clue how to even turn one on and I'm on the 'Younger" side of the fence

Just imagine all the other guys like Hank we dont know about, I have always said theres more collectors out there than we think!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When I say they are for the younger generation I mean that they literally were born into this computer connected world. I know a six year old that can code a bit, he was able to acces my wifes computer and change her home screen to a pic of him smilling, and she cant change it back. we will never understand this world of ones and zeros like they can, it is just a second language to them.
 

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[quote name="Eric" post="676097" timestamp="1461551957"]... looking over my shoulder at the only thing I get excited about...
Gadzooks man,I hope she wasn't looking over your shoulder when you wrote that !
 

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[quote name="Eric" post="676097" timestamp="1461551957"]... looking over my shoulder at the only thing I get excited about...
Gadzooks man,I hope she wasn't looking over your shoulder when you wrote that !
For his sake, I hope she was!
 

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tinkerer
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I bought the decals for my Ridemasters and the Bean Cutler from Hank and over the years we have become " phone friends ".

He is a very pleasant guy to talk with but unfortunately, I have never met him in person.
 
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Hank is a true legend in the Bolens world. I have known him since I was 16 years old and I'm 41 now I will never forget meeting him for the first time and him showing my dad and I his collection of tractors at that time I had never seen so many ride-a-matics in one place. He then lived in sandwich, il. Hank decided to cut back on his tractors and my dad and a late friend of ours starting buying up what Hank wanted to sell. We have made several trips to shows to meet Hank and have been to both his place of residency multipal times Him and his wife are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. I contribute Hank to really getting my father and I's collecting started We talk often on the phone and I hope to make a trip this year up to see "The Old Bolens Man"
 
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