Flags Across the Harvest #1June 26, 2018
The story of my life… whispered to my soul.
As a small boy the entrepreneur in me enjoyed playing Monopoly with my sister, always hoping for the card that instructed me to go directly to Park Place. Much to my disdain, rarely did I receive that wish. Instead, my journey around the gameboard was a series of setbacks, time in jail, and the need to pay exorbitant rent to hotels. Ones that life seemed to gift to her. Little did I know that the innocence of those youthful times would become a metaphor for my life, preparing me for the days ahead.
About thirty years ago, the singer Neil Diamond, recorded a hauntingly beautiful and poignant love song, “The Story of My Life”. The lyrics speak about how life begins and ends with that special someone; a gift from our Lord that most seek but sadly not everyone finds.
I was blessed to discover that special person in my eternal wife and best friend, Charlotte. A woman that is truly the love of my life.
But my road to her side was not straight. It was littered with plans that did not unfold and lonely patches of time that were thrown together like clouds across an endless but majestic, western Nebraska sky.
The other story of my life, my career, was filled with a seemingly random but juxtaposed journey, working from an unseen master plan. I was caught between two worlds: my love and passion for agriculture and anything mechanical, especially engines and cars.
The dreams of a farm boy never need to concern themselves with details, since the heart knows no boundaries. Thus, my plan was to become a mechanical engineer with an emphasis on engines, landing a job with one of the Detroit auto companies while still running our small family farm. Development engineer by day, farmer by night and weekend.
It made no difference that Detroit is 650 miles from our farm in New Jersey. A detail that I trusted life would somehow work out.
I was always one to have a Plan B though.
A family friend that worked for McAllister Towing, a tug boat company in New York City, introduced me to that world. I spent a day in New York Harbor on the Helen McAllister, a sea-going tug.
I can remember as if it were yesterday when the tug’s engineer took my father and me down to the engine room. It was love at first sight. The huge locomotive-inspired EMD diesel beguiled my young mind but instantly caused confusion: Should my life be in Detroit or now on the river? This was getting complicated. Little did I know as a climbed down the Helen’s staircase, that a monkey wrench would be thrown into the perfect plan I had.
While in college I took a job in a Buick dealership as a mechanic, working on driveability issues with the then new electronic carburetors and early fuel injection systems. I took advantage of every class General Motors offered, many times having to take a day off without pay, since the dealership put little value on education.
But once again life resembled the pitfalls of the Monopoly board I was so familiar with.
My father was involved in a life-threatening automobile accident on Interstate 80, causing me to be let go from the dealership.
In a split second on a cold and damp February day, I was unemployed and the dreams of the river or Detroit ended abruptly, with my dad’s life dangling in the balance.
Fate made the decision for me. I was the only son and my family needed me for us to keep the farm. I could continue my education but home needed to be on Cat Swamp Road, the then dirt lane that bisected our land.
When finished with school I took a job with Allen Test Products, an oscilloscope and emissions analyzer company as a technical demonstrator and training instructor.
All of my efforts and formal education were now paying off. I humbly state that I was considered by many, including the Ford Motor Company, to be one of the top diagnosticians in the country and at the time, the youngest to receive the recognition.
That soon morphed into a drag race engine building business. During that time, I wrote a letter to the editor about a technically incorrect magazine article about piston chamfer.
The unseen hand of God delivered a phone call from the publisher, inviting me to write technical articles for them, a company that had seven other automotive titles. I was first published in 1993 and was quickly featured in all eight of their magazines.
A few years later, I was blessed with the opportunity to contract with BMW of North America as a test driver in the engineering department, evaluating engine and transmission calibration on the 3 Series sedan and X5 SUV. I did that for two years.
As of today, I have more than 3,000 published technical magazine articles, have contributed to forty-four different magazine titles, have authored three books, and delivered countless training seminars to both the automotive and agriculture industries.
I am also the Engine Man in the Successful Farming magazine and on their TV show.
To bring the story full-circle I need to share my favorite Bible verse with you, one that I live-out through necessity and often desperation.
It is Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will guide thy path.
I now understand that the whisper to my soul was not to be in the auto industry but to support my truest passion, agriculture.
My destiny is finally clear. I never made it to Detroit or the river. I am where I belong.
I now see the journey the Lord took me on had purpose; while I traveled it, I was filled with confusion, doubt, and often discouragement though.
My podcast “Idle Chatter”, begins with the statement that agriculture runs on passion, sweat, tears, and machinery. I share your passion, sweat and sadly, sometimes tears. The Farm Machinery Digest was born of that.
The Scriptures tell us, freely you have received; freely you will give. For this reason, everything on my website is free, along with my upcoming workshops.
I humbly invite you to partake in the information that I am so honored to provide. It is my sincerest prayer that I can help the American farmer to prosper.
May our Lord bless and keep you, your farm, and my beloved America.
Probably most people take a varied route with many forks in the road to get to the job they have. I kind of stumbled into agriculture, not being from a farm background. But I got a college job working in a lab for a grad student extracting herbicide residues. When summer came I asked about staying on and working at the university research farm, and I did…and really fell in love with growing crops. Ended up staying on for a Masters degree there at Oklahoma State and then PhD at Michigan State. That was over 30 years ago, and since then have had a good career in research and advisement in the ag industry.
Thank you so much for sharing the story of your career with me and all those that visit my website. I have come to see that though we may plan, and our plans may be sound, the Lord has a different path for us to take and it is always a better one.
A beautiful story! I’m jealous! My heart lies on the American farm as well. So glad to see that you are strong in the Lord! Keep the faith, and keep up the great work!
Thank you for your strength and trust in the Lord by going to serve him in Africa. I sincerely hope that the Farm Machinery Digest can become a tool for you to help educate those in Senegal to become more efficient farmers, while you feed their souls.
We spoke recently and I think I expressed my love and longing for the farm, as I was born on a farm in Poland back in 63. I came to this country, with my parents, legally, and didn’t get a dime of any sort of settlement money, like they do these days, in 65. I have always felt the yearning, awe and love for the land and the farm. Today, as I approach my later years, I still long, even more so, for that life, not an easy life, I do know and understand, but a good clean and honest life, where I know I can make a difference in so many lives. So many lives, with organic farming like our fore fathers did… Still searching for that farm, knowing God will provide.
Thank you Mr. Bohacz.
May Our Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.
Thank you so much for sharing the story of your life with me and my readers. We have much in common though my family came to America over 100 years ago.
I believe that you visited our farm a few times the past few years; I am honored by that and your note.
Though you may not currently be where you had hoped on your journey, your faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, guarantees that He will guide your every step. Have a blessed day trusting in His plan. Ray
Yes Ray, you are quite an interesting fellow. We have actually never met, but I know we would be great friends, and have lots of life stories to tell! I was born on a little farm in Central Texas, and Dad was a farmer with his twin brother. My older sister had lots of health problems including terrible allergies that the doctor had no ideas for treatment except, moving to Arizona. Mom and Dad packed up all our belongings and we moved to Arizona, in spite of the fact we didn’t know anyone in the state. Fortunately, Dad was able to get a job with the Soil Conservation Service. The Lord was looking after us, and he stayed with the service until retirement. I ended up working for the old Land Bank system and stayed with that 32 years until retirement. I enjoyed it and was also blessed to have stumbled into that. A friend called me on the phone and told me about an opening, and the rest is history. Thanks, Lloyd Hickerson
Thanks so much for visiting my website and reading my editorial.
It is quite obvious that your life story has the hand of our Lord on it. He used your sister’s health issues as a way to guide your family to where He knew you would be blessed. That is why we just need to trust and not question as Proverbs 3:5 tells us to do.
I greatly appreciate you sharing your story with me and those that visit my website.
Have a blessed day.
What a sweet, sweet man you are and what a lovely and eventful story you have lived! You have given me much wisdom through your words and your way of life that I can never repay your generosity. My hope is that you may continue to share your story, your wisdom and your love of the Lord with people who need encouragement and direction in their lives. Like the seeds that we sow, you can look forward to and anticipate the harvest that your words and manner of living can reap in the lives of others. Thanks for all you do! Sarah Muenchow
You have a talent to use words in the same majestic way our Lord paints the sky with the setting sun.
I am humbled by and not worthy of your assessment of my life; Though I thank you for the encouragement it gave to me.
May our Lord bless and use you on His planned journey for your life. I know without a doubt if you listen to His still small voice, you will hear Him say,” Well done good and faithful servant”. This is my prayer for you.
You sweet, sweet man. You have certainly lived a full and exciting life! I appreciate your honesty, your genuine warmth and love of the Lord. You are an inspiration and I wish you the best in all your endeavors; whatever they may be. Blessings to you and your family from South Dakota!