R.R. 1, Cambridge (Preston) Ontario'. N3H4R6
Oh, I know that's not the way you spell Florida, but as you drive south and listen, you can tell when you are getting close by the way it's pronounced. After you arrive and tour around a little, you soon find that Florida is a melting pot of people from all over North America and many parts of Europe. Some of them are seeking to make their fortune and others just trying to avoid the cold of winter.
By now, you have realized that my wife and I have escaped again this spring. We packed a few things in the camper and took off on March 29 at about 5 PM and arrived at Loughman, Florida at about 8:00 PM March 31.
Loughman is about seven miles south of Disney World and is the home of Bill and Duretta Schneider. We parked in their yard for a couple of days before meandering down to Key West. After a leisurely tour of Southern Florida, we returned to Loughman and attended a Gas-Up at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Austin at St. Petersburg. Their Gas-Up was part of the activities of the Florida Flywheelers, a club of homesick northerners and interested Floridians, which has been drawn together largely by the efforts of Bill and Duretta. They serve the offices of President and Secretary. The club as such does not hold a show of their own, but have Gas-Ups in each others yards once a month in order to stir up interest in the hobby and they also participate in any shows held in the state by individual members.
We met Mr. and Mrs. Ray Schisler and Mr. and Mrs. Art Clarke who are both former Canadians but who now live and work in Florida; Mr. and Mrs. Austin and their daughter, Nancy, who were the hosts of the day. Col. Houston L. Herndon of Sarasota was there and after a little talk we decided to visit his place the next day.
The next day April 10, Bill and I set out early on a tour that took us to Wauchula, to the home of Earle Nickerson who has a farm and some dairy cattle, as well as a 20-35 Rumely, several gas engines, including a Temple Master Workman and a Huntington. Earle also has a 1926 Studebaker, a 1940 La Salle, and a 1941 Buick. He shows many of these nicely restored pieces at Zolpho Springs and is a member of the Flywheelers.
After a coffee and some pleasant conversation we took off and drove on over to Col. Herndon's place on highway 72 east of Sarasota.
The first indication that you get of anything out of the ordinary, is about four windmills on short tower near the front of the property. That should be enough to prepare you for what's inside. The first antique we saw inside the door was of Canadian origin and I am sure many of you know him, Charlie Spicer. He was working a John Deere tractor and scraper. In the main building it looked like a reunion with groups of engines of the same make but different sizes sitting around the building like families at an annual get-together. Prominent among them were New Holland from small to large; Ideal, both air and water-cooled; Fairbanks-Morse Type Y from 25 HP on down; a Pimam engine with a good deal of original chrome-plated parts gleaming and engine driven electric plants of various makes and sizes and many of the old clear vision gasoline pumps.
Outside, there are tractors, more John Deere Internationals, a Rumely and many others. A full size and model steam tractor engines are there, which I am sure Mr. Spicer tends with loving care.
Finally, would you believe it? A spoke flywheel John Deere and in Florida, at that! You just never know!
Many thanks to our hosts the Schneiders and all the people we were privileged to visit. We enjoyed seeing all the equipment. Best wishes to all of you and success in your hobby.