The only thing Gerald Pacha loves more than his wife Rosemary are tractors. His fellow members of the Wayland Antique Tractor Club knew this and set up a tractorcade in his honor on Sunday, April 7.
More than 20 vehicles - tractors, trucks and other farm vehicles- made their way past his house while the drivers waved to Pacha, who was watching from the window of his front room. Pacha, who is battling cancer, has been a member of the tractor club “forever,” according to his wife, Rosemary Pacha. “He’s a tractor man,” she said. Rosemary’s cousin, Nancy Adrian, wanted to do something special for the pair and arranged to have the tractorcade set up, with the help of her sister Lisa.
“We just called some neighbors and relatives and tried to line up as many tractors as we could,” she said. “People who didn’t have tractors drove four-wheelers and one guy drove his pickup because he couldn’t get his tractor started. There were some odds and ends, but it was nice.”
Adrian said she grew up close by the Pachas and has always been close with them. Doing something to put a smile on their faces and show support for them just seemed to be the natural thing to do.
“They have been incredibly strong community supporters,” she said. “They have just always been a part of the Brighton community and the Washington Community and it was something fun to do to bring everyone’s spirits up.”
Adrian said she feels this gesture of kindness is typical for the area because everyone was willing to get together and show a bit of kindness.
“I think it just shows what big hearts we have and how much we care about our neighbors,” she said through tears. “I think it says a lot about a community when they pull together and support those that need it. You could tell everyone was really happy that they went.”
Rosemary said she knew about the tractorcade but was surprised to see so many people show up. She said it was a bittersweet and emotional day, but seeing so many people willing to show support for Gerald was incredibly touching.
“You think of the community and the whole tractor club and how gracious they are. It was just a cool thing that they did,” she said. “It was so nice of them. They are such a good group of guys and so willing to help each other. That’s what’s so nice.”
From his hospital bed in the front window, Gerald was able to watch as each vehicle drove by and the drivers waved to him. Among the crowd was his cousin, driving a tractor with a sign fastened to it that read, “We’re pulling for you!”