Drumhellerite Doug Jensen, 78, has tinkered with restoration projects for 25 years.
His well-used and well-loved shop echoes soft country music from a little radio and the walls are full of posters, pictures, tools, and shelves, all of which seem to show the determined, proud character Jensen possesses.
“It’s something you’re brought up with,” said Jensen. “My dad was probably a little influence to that in a way that he made sure that he didn’t fix it, he made sure that we did. He liked his stuff in good shape so I guess we’ll credit my dad.”
His winter projects have stemmed into full-scale endeavours that keep him ‘out of trouble’.
“It goes on through the years, I guess twenty-five years ago I decided I’d rebuild an old 1932 truck and took that apart and puttered away on it for years till I got it completed and then I guess later years, I got in to the old tractor. A kind of rule of thumb was I was doing one every winter just to stay out of trouble,” said Jensen.
Most of his projects rarely leave the farm. They sit in various sheds until they can be run in the warmer months of spring and summer.
“Drumheller parades... I’ve kind of worn out my welcome there [since] I’ve had it so many times,” laughed Jensen.
He has worked on roughly 15 different projects over the years including a 1932 International truck that was originally new to the farm’s first owners.
Each individual machine is broken down ‘to the bare bones’ before being reassembled. Jensen also has had help from friend Paul Hammel and his sons making it a family affair.
“We worked through a few of these projects together and it’s funny how you go on and you accumulate another one and another one and pretty soon it becomes a passion,” continued Jensen.
Many other tractors and trucks have been acquired aside from the finished products as a means to supply or trade parts.
“When you start a project like one of these, you almost need two or three to take the best parts out of each to complete one,” said Jensen.
Jensen is also a life-time member of the Pioneer Acres Museum located North of Irricana after restoring and donating an early 19th century combine to full functionality for learning purposes. He found it at an auction sale.
Trevor Jensen, Doug’s son took over the family farm and three sections of land about two years ago so Doug helps only when needed.
Hockey was another strong fixture in Jensen’s life, taking on multiple roles like playing, coaching, and refereeing.
“They are good moments, lots of kids that are all grown up now with families so I went through the hockey battles for a few years, it was great,” said Jensen.