Rene and Monique were teens when they met at a sugarhouse in Hyde Park.
Rene Marcoux: The thing is she was sweeter on me, though.
Monique Marcoux: That's what he says!
Three years later they got engaged on Christmas Day 1951.
"Oh, it's gorgeous, it's gorgeous up here," Rene said.
The young couple, barely out of their teens, bought Rene's parents' farm and began milking. They raised their six kids on the 300-hundred acre farm. For about a half century, it was the only life the Marcoux family knew.
But when Rene's knees gave out, they knew it was time to sell the farm.
"It was a difficult decision for both of us," Rene said.
He says it was the bleakest and darkest day of his life.
"That used to be all our land, all our land down there as far as you can see," he said.
They now own about 30 acres of the original farm.
But since way before the farm went to auction, Rene has had a constant companion that's still by his side.
"Matthew and I are tight!" Rene said.
Matthew is a 1969 Massey Ferguson tractor. Rarely has there been a day that Rene hasn't taken it out for a spin and a chore.
Reporter Joe Carroll: What's so special about this tractor?
Rene Marcoux: Everything.
He bought the tractor new 44 years ago. With a trade-in, it still cost over $4,000, a large sum for a small farm. It's been used for haying, sugaring and logging. Rene figures he's logged 16,000 hours on Matthew.
Joe Carroll: Did you think you would still have this tractor over 40 years later?
Rene Marcoux: No, never. I didn't even think I'd be here!
It looks pristine now, but years of wear did take a toll on the tractor. Rene's nephews helped get Matthew purring along. Except for the tires and paint, the tractor is original.
Joe Carroll: This is a piece of equipment, but is it part of your family?
Rene Marcoux: It is and I would say families!
For Monique, who used to do chores with the tractor, it's just a machine. But for Rene, it's a reminder of his dairy days.
"He likes to talk about it, 'cause every time the boys, they come for coffee or something, that's all they talk about," Monique said.
"And it's almost the kind of feeling when you get on, start working with it, it's just like it's new again. Yeah," Rene said.
For the 82-year-old, there's no better feeling than to go out in the woods with his best friend. Most people in town know about his trusty tractor, and Rene understands that some of them think he's crazy. He doesn't care.
So, chances are, if you hear a tractor on Sunnyside Lane, it's Rene living in the present on a machine that has been so much of his past.
Rene says a John Deere tractor might be prettier with it bright yellow wheels, but Matthew is a workhorse.
PO Box 4508