We had an old International Harvester, and I actually learned how to drive it. I can’t remember which letter the model we had was, but I loved the fact that there was a system of identification that simply was composed of letters. The sickle mower was a long, bladed, crazy thing that attached to the back and stuck out to the right, and we, well, I would drive back and forth and back and forth cutting down the weeds—ragweed, probably thistle, and since it was illinois, I would guess, milkweed. We had 19 acres and probably only developed about one acre, so that was a lot of weeds that could conceivably grow to the height of a short stepdad if we didn’t cut it. It was a good thing that I had an auto-reverse walkman, a BMG music service subscription, and rechargable batteries. Sometimes the tractor was too loud to hear the music, but most of the time I could hear my Bell Biv Devoe or Hi-Five or B-52’s or DJ Jazzy Jeff or Young MC. I remember that we were walking in the woods behind the house once, and I walked near a tree that made a perfect ladder—a tree I loved to climb—and found that Young MC tape, screws rusty and a bit sunfaded, in the leaves next to the tree. It was like a miracle, finding Stone Cold Rhymin’ out there, until I realized that I must have dropped it on a prior woodsy adventure, and hadn’t even realized it was gone.