The last time Allen Hoida drove tractor on his father’s farm, he was about to graduate high school and he was to soon to take wing from the proverbial nest. That was nearly six decades ago. The author Thomas Wolfe proclaimed ” You Cant Go Home Again”. Al Hoida did. After a long career in telephone communications, he and his wife Judy returned to a then abandoned farm on the edge of Montana Lake, about 40 miles north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. In retirement, Al says he’s a collector. In various outbuildings, there are aging but functioning tractors, including his father George’s 1941 Farmall. There are lawn mowers too. Three of them and they don’t look all that new either.
Where he and his siblings helped milk about a dozen cows, Al has created a wooodshop. I recently returned to the farm for a visit.. We had a history, having wrestled on the same team until he graduated and I later became acquainted with one of his sisters. I think Thomas Wolfe had someone else in mind when he wrote his novel, ” Y0u Cant Go Home Again”.