Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re like me, you’ve probably mowed the yard what seems like 100 times already this spring – and it’s only May (and the yard probably needs it again). Since it’s raining at the moment, let’s buzz back and check out mowing in the 1960s.

When I’m out mowing, I like to listen to music as it seems to make the chore go by a little faster, so it’s sort of sad that folks in the 1960s couldn’t listen to their favorite tunes while mowing their yards. Or could they?

As I browse a newspaper from the spring of 1968, I stumble over an ad from Moon Tractor Company, which bills itself as a “Lawn Mower Headquarters.” And, yes, Moon Tractor is very much in business to this very day on West Main Street in Hillsboro.

In this particular advertisement, it says that if you buy any Wheel Horse or Reo Skiff lawnmower, Moon will give us a free pair of Radio Sunglasses. What are Radio Sunglasses, you ask? Well, let’s let Moon explain it to us as they say, “Great mowing! And great listening while your Wheel Horse Tractor or Reo Riding Mower does the work. These handsome, high-quality sunglasses have a built-in transistorized precision radio. They’re optically right – protect your eyes from the bright summer sun, and they’re yours FREE when you buy any Wheel Horse Tractor or Reo Skiff. Eight Wheel Horses in all. Choice of automatic, 6-speed or 3-speed transmission. Solid state ignition! 6 to 12 HP. GREAT DEAL! You’ll get it only at your franchised Wheel Horse/Reo dealer.” (There was an asterisk, the deal is applicable to 1968 models only.)

So let’s get a horse – a Wheel Horse, of course. Moon Tractor also promoted its Ford, Lawn Boy and Ariens mowers, saying, “Get the best, it pays in the long run” and touted its dependable parts and service department.

The telephone number in the ad was 393-4258 – which is Moon Tractor Company’s number today. And when the mowing’s done, Moon advertised a 20-pound bag of genuine Great Lakes “Sizzle” – the smokeless, high-temp, long-burning charcoal for just 97 cents. Ah, a good, grilled burger or steak does sound good after an afternoon of lawn mowing.

As we light the grill and listen to 1960s music on our free Radio Sunglasses, let’s pause for now, and we’ll continue next time.

Steve Roush is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees, a vice president of an international media company and a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at roush_steve@msn.com.