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Al

Sunrunner question

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Al
Hi, I have a question that I don’t have an answer to. It regards the Simplicity Sunrunners. It starts in 1981. We were a relatively new Simplicity dealer. It was before we were factory direct. I received a letter from the sales manager at Power Tools in Minneapolis, our distributor. The letter came and John B had a note attached : Al, do whatever you think with this. I don’t have a clue concerning why its like it is. The letter had been sent to Simplicity MFG. It was printed in letters that looked like a 6 year old, they were not even uniform in size. It said: Pleeze send me som infermation about yer powrf ul tracters ii the ad in Sucessful Farming magazene We ar intrestd in them. Plese send any infermatin you have. Thnk you, Raymond ____. I will delete the name. I thought it might be a little kid, but it didn’t matter. I could think back when I was about 7 and had a lot of chores to do and mowed lawn with a push reel mower. I wanted a Gravely or Simplicity Garden tractor so bad it hurt. I had literature from: Simplicity, Gravely, Red E, Bolens, American Standard, Shaw and many more. I used to look at that literature and dream about these wonderful tractors. We couldn’t afford one, my dad wanted one also, we just couldn’t afford it. The letter came to me with an almost laughing attitude. I read it, thought of me as a kid and packaged all of the literature we had in the dealership, put it in a large brown envelope and put 1.24 postage on it and sent it. I didn’t hear anything for well over a year, and one day an old heavy set man with very thick glasses and 2 about 45 o 50 year old men came into the shop. The older guy was the dad and his two boys. They came from a town about 40 miles away. These men had limited skills and mower yards for a living. I so respected them working, doing what they could, instead of living off the gov’t. In a few minutes, the dad explained that they were and that Ray needed a new tractor and we had sent them this info pkg. and they wanted to buy from us, because we had responded to their letter. What we did regarding this got presented at all of the marketing meetings to stress not to pre judge prospects. Anyway, Raymond took home a new 4211H from us. All because we didn’t throw that questionable letter in the trash. We inherited all of their business, which was limited, but greater than the average homeowner. We treated them with respect, and appreciation and worked to support them. Next year the brother traded a 608 Allis to use for another 4211. While they were there, Ray said to me: “Al you know what they should do? Take the deck off and put it on the back and turn the seat around and run it backwards. My thought, Like a Toro 61 inch Groundsmaster that got left out in the rain and shrunk. My immediate response, Raymond, this is a[img]/club2//attach/UCD/censored1.gif[/img]of an idea. I went in the office and called Conrad Langenberger, the V P of marketing. I spent about 10 minutes with Con regarding this issue. I even offered, if they had an old 4211 at engineering that I could get, I would be willing to see what I could do with this idea, turn the seat around, change t he steering. The one obstacle I saw was the mower drive with the hydro between the engine and the mower deck mounted on the back. Zero turns at this time were very expensive and this could be a really competitive mower that could be a compromise between a tractor and a zero turn. I pitched the fact that probably 75 to 80% of the components would already available from current products. He said: “I’ll take a look at it”. Thanks. About 2 or a little more years later, Simplicity had a “Family Reunion”, where all of the dealers in the company were invited to the 2 day event. Half to the Tue Wed get together and half to the Wed Thurs get together, so we all had a 1 day overlap to meet and attend the big Wed night program. This is where the “New Sunnrunner” was presented. One of the units had a golf bag holder and factor y people said this had been a Conrad priority project. The question is: Did this happen as a result of Raymond’s suggestion, or was Conrad already doing it when I called him. I talked to him a couple of times at the get together and I NEVER asked. I don’t care as the issue got addressed and that is why I called. But I will always wonder. Thanks to Harold Redman we are having a similar get together in August. This time it will be in Milwaukee, part at the Georgia plant and part at the Munnsville New York plant. This year, I have nothing I am expecting. Al Eden

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Chris727
Interesting story. I would think Mr.Langenberger is the only one who can answer your question. It sounds good that they are having get togethers for dealers once again. Hopefully this will rekindle some of the now disappearing "Simplicity" culture and pride in the product.

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MysTiK
You have a question. You have now asked the question. The question is yours. It seems only a very few people could answer the question. Perhaps one knows, perhaps others, perhaps the question needs to be directed again. I think it's a little unclear what the real question is; and it's been wanting answer. It's not about sunrunner; it's about the people involved in the creative process. I think there's a lack of acknowledgement of a simple man who just wanted to do his job better. It began in appreciation. Hopefully it can close in appreciation. Ask the right question. Kinda like the questions in my signature. If it matters to you, alone, in total honesty with only you alone, then it needs to move forward. That can be done in reality. That can be done in fantasy or imagination or visualization. It doesn't matter which. It only matters that you know - ask the right question. Only you in touch with your self remembering can see, and know all of it, alone, or with others. It doesn't matter. It only matters to you. The question must be seen as it really is = less important than you, less important than what you stand for. That can change. I learned that morality is personal. Morality is not a collection of adopted concerns. My concerns are mine; and are real. I can empathize til the cows come home. I live with me always and forever in appreciation of myself. And a few other things that I love. Like humble beautiful people that simply need some help. This story is filled with that. There is emotional content to this; there is great energy and lightning speed in emotion; much less so with nice intellectual ideas. The quick energy can be explosive; but worse, it can implode. Ask the right question; and you will know something you did not see before. It might be easier to be open to receiving the question or the vision; keep your radar up. And know what you are waiting for. I can only hope to be helpful; but it's not about me. and not about what I say either. and nobody's business but yours. altho, you asked. Watch and wait. EDIT = I remember the story of Raymond, another thread, maybe a year or so ago. This recount is exact match. That vision is clear; and it needs resolve. It's a beautiful picture, a movie; and as the director, you control how the movie plays, and ends.... And everyone continued on in life, and the river continues to flow, as it must be a river. "Don't push the river". (Frederick. S. Perls)

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