Lawn Day's Journey
updated 09/12/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/12/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
In fact the trip was even slower than Straight had anticipated. Hauling a 10-foot trailer to carry gas, food and camping equipment, his mower broke down after just two days. Hiring a man with a truck, Straight returned home. He bought a 1966 John Deere lawn tractor for less than $400 and began his odyssey once again. During the next six weeks on the road, he replaced his drive belt twice, spent $250 for new parts and fretted over his own chassis as much as his vehicle's. So sore was he from the ride, "When I got here, I could barely make it with two canes." Yet he did make it, on Aug. 16, and Henry, the oldest of six, was "glad," says Alvin, to see his little brother.
Motorists, however, may have less reason to celebrate. Despite the two strokes, heart attack, fractured leg and broken neck that Henry has suffered over the years, "I'm gonna go down in my tractor next year and visit him," he says of Alvin. "I can't drive legally either."