WWII Vet & Toddler Race Mowers

Erling, 89, and Emmett, 3, race each other. (Photo: Boyd Huppert)Erling, 89, and Emmett, 3, race each other. (Photo: Boyd Huppert)

Two racing John Deere mowers caught my eye while I was watching NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams earlier this week. It wasn’t so much the mowers but who was operating them: a WWII Veteran and a 3-year-old.

This unlikely pair are neighbors in Farmington, Minnesota, and are inseparable.

Emmett Rychner, 3, and 89-year-old Erling Kindem met when Emmett took interest in his garden.

Kindem, a World War II veteran who flew combat missions in Europe, planted tomatoes — Rychner’s favorite. And so, a friendship began. Now, the two enjoy racing mowers — although one’s battery powered — tinkering on bikes and just learning from each other.

But this pair will be going their separate ways soon. Rychner’s family is moving to have a larger house for their expanding brood, and Kindem will be moving with his wife into senior apartments.

But until then, there’s a little more fun and tomatoes to be enjoyed.

Watch a video about their story on NBC.

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