Post ideas enter my inbox every morning, like lines of commuters ascending SkyTrain station escalators during rush hour. Sometimes there’s an event listing, charity campaign, or concert listing. However on occasion, an email contains a short, sweet, touching human interest story — in this case, it’s about a tractor in a Kootenay region town.
Parental warning, there’s a quick word of strong language at the start.
The Flood is a two-minute short documentary that has been posted online to pay tribute to the city of Rossland’s beloved 1972 Ford 3000 tractor. Yes, a tractor. Its job for the last 40 years has been to resurface the local ice rink, serving as a Zamboni. Over the course of its 80,000 scrapes, it became a fixture of the community. Quirky and unique, it was the subject of many fan photographs and childhood memories.
Upon hearing that the machine was set to retire, filmmaker Scott Carlson decided to shoot The Flood to pay homage to the tractor he’d observed on the rink since he was young.
When the video was posted, it went viral. I’m told that Scott received hundreds of personal responses while the view counter online reached 37,000 in just a few days. Farmers, car enthusiasts, plant workers, and more were contacting Scott to thank him for the inspiration. As a result, this star was not retired after all. It takes longer, it’s not as shiny and new, but it gets the job done. When it comes to hockey in this country we get nostalgic over the strangest things, but that’s just what Canadians do.
As a side note, I recognized the score of the clip right away. It’s from Field of Dreams — a movie, and another sport, very close to my heart.