WANTED: London & Vicinity

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HC 71, Box 525 Mountain View, Arkansas 72560

My wife and I were planning a trip to Germany in the fall of 1991, to visit our daughter and family. I figured since we had to go near England, it would be nice to stop off and see some old engines. (You know how that is!)

I placed an ad in GEM, saying: 'Wanted: London & Vicinity old engine fanatic to host American couple in September or October.'

By May I was corresponding with a couple outside of London who were willing to put us up for a couple of weeks. After several months, and many letters back and forth, plus a couple of phone calls, our plans were made.

He said to look for a man in a green hat when we got through customs. He was there with his wife, as planned, wearing a John Deere cap. (I should have known!)

For two weeks, they took us all over, visiting places and events that the tourists would never have seen. They lived on a family farm in a home built in 1624 (Yes, I said 16240 and the engines he had! Of course, practically all of them I've never heard of before. He had a Field Marshall tractor which started with a 12 gauge blank shotgun shell I fell in love with this one.

My wife and I will never forget Jim and his wife, Tess. They not. only opened their home but their hearts to us. We both think that this was the best trip we've ever had. (Lucky we weren't killed I kidded Jim, he was driving on the wrong side of the road.)

Let's see now, my new ad will say: 'Old Engine Fanatic in Australia, Sweden'. What did you say, Honey? 'Egypt'? I don't think they have any old engine nuts there!