Sweet Home Kaukuana

My Dad used to be a dealer for Badger Northland farm equipment. He used to buy, assemble, and sell big machinery like chopper boxes (also known as forage wagons or forage boxes), as well as smaller equipment and miscellaneous parts. Every so often he had to drive from our home in Marshfield to Kaukauna, Wisconsin, to pick up parts.

BadgerOne time I got to go along for the ride. I was maybe five or six years old. I thought we were going to Chicago. Kaukauna, Chicago — they sound pretty much the same to a little kid with no sense of geography. I remember telling kids at school that I had been to Chicago, because I really thought I had been. I have no idea what route we took. The distance from Marshfield to Kaukauna is close to 120 miles, so given 1960s highways and driving speeds, we’re probably talking about four hours for the round trip, which, to a little kid, certainly could seem like a journey to Chicago and back.

About all I remember of that trip to Kaukauna was riding with Dad in our red truck; that, and I remember stopping at a small diner with stools at a counter, individual-serving cereal boxes on display, and sweet rolls. It’s my brief, happy memory of once upon a road trip with my father.

Laura Sternweis

P.S. Art’s Way Manufacturing acquired the Badger hay and forage equipment product lines in 2007. According to the company website, new products include forage boxes, forage blowers, hay rakes, and mergers, among others.

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