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Tumor operation doesn't stop Fennville man at fair

By Vincent Lungaro / The Holland Sentinel • Jul 29, 2016 at 1:00 PM

HOLLAND — After spending several months laid up in a hospital bed, Fennville’s Tony Schut is back to doing what he loves.

Schut, who has recently recovered from an operation on a gastrointestinal tumor, participated in the field tractor pull contest Wednesday at the Ottawa County Fair.

This marks the fourth year Schut has participated in the tractor pull event, after being around tractors all his life on the farm or during his time spent as one of Fennville Public Schools' groundskeepers.

“I grew up on a tractor ever since I was a kid,” Schut said. “So now it’s just kind of getting time to play around on them a little bit. I’m trying to do it for [my son-in-law] Joe, for him to get into it. I’d like to see it stay in the family.”

At first glance, the tractor pull may not seem very fast paced or very risky, but there’s more danger to it than at first glance.

And although he’s never witnessed first hand a situation going wrong, Schut said it’s possible it can happen.

“I’ve never seen it, but I know the craziest thing that can happen is a tractor can be too heavy in the back and it come flip up and all the way over,” Schut said. “If you got a good driver, you know when to let off a bit and bring it back down, but yeah, if you’re not careful, you can get killed with that tractor coming down right on over you.”

While he recovered from the operation to remove the tumor and the subsequent unexpected infection that hindered him for another 3 to 4 weeks, Schut said he was always looking forward to returning to work and to the tractor pull.

“It’s a lot different being in a hospital looking out and seeing people move around,” Schut said. “You can’t move out there with them. Now you get to be a part of it again. It kind of gets you back into life again.”

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