HOISINGTON — Dan Boese of Hoisington, creates accurate, life-like tractors that are intricate recreations of the idyllic memories of yesteryear.
“I just enjoy playing with wood,” said Boese. “I hope someday the kids will like it.”
Boese finds pictures of buildings and farm equipment that capture his imagination or holds a fond memory, and builds from there. He also has made larger woodworking projects such as the fireplace mantel and a wood table, and finished the basement walls of his home in barn wood.
The fireplace mantel came from an old piano. “I don’t like to let many old antiques go to waste.”
Now that he is retired from working at Clara Barton Hospital, Boese still likes to keep busy, and his hands and feet impatiently tap when sitting. He also likes to keep his mind busy.
Boese loved the farming life and the independence of it. “My Dad and Grandad farmed,” said Boese. “If I had enough land, I’d still be farming.”
His mother had a garden and canned her fresh grown vegetables, and they also had some chickens. His Dad had cattle as well as crops, and the family had little need for the grocery store.
The craftsman enjoyed those days when someone’s hand shake meant his word. “I don’t regret growing up at that time,” he said. “We were self-sufficient.”
Boese is a collector of many things relating to farming or from his childhood, including John Deere model equipment.
“Now I’m like a little kid. We didn’t have any toys growing up,” he said. Boese took two courses called Manual Training in high school where he learned woodworking as well as learning practical skills on the farm.
He has made a lot of stuff for craft shows in past years and he is very specific about how wood should look. “I don’t like to see wood painted,” he said.
Boese came to Hoisington after graduating from school at Alexander. Shortly thereafter, he joined the Army and was sent to Korea.
He has two children, a son Brad who is moving back to Hoisington, a daughter Barbara, and his wife Janet.