Gathering of the Green

March  20, 2014

      John Deere enthusiasts from across the US, and at least three foreign countries, are meeting in the Quad Cities this week. The semi-annual "Gathering of the Green" opened Wednesday night, and continues through Saturday in Davenport.

      One of the organizers, Ken Reese from McHenry, Illinois, says the convention features historical and technical workshops, tours, guest speakers, and vendors of "everything John Deere" - from old parts and tires to clothing and art. The theme is "Preserving the Past."

      "And that's our goal, to keep the two cylinder era and the new generation era in the forefront so that people understand the past and can appreciate the future."

      He grew up in Hillsdale, Illinois where his grandfather was a Deere Dealer for nearly 50 years, but spent his career as a school counselor and administrator in the Chicago area.

      "Nearing retirement I decided I needed to get back into some of that old "green stuff." So I bought an old tractor, brought it home, and started restoring it on the the first day I retired in 1997. And four years later I finished it."

      And that 1939 Model B Deere tractor is on display at the convention.

      He estimates more than 2,000 people will attend, either for a day or all four days. The Gathering of the Green is being held at the River Center in downtown Davenport. 


(photo: Ken Reese with his 1939 Model B)