11550 Trost Road Ida, Michigan 48140
In June of 1974, I was invited to attend the National Threshers Association annual reunion for the first time. Little did I know that it would have such an impact on my life. I have read different articles about a dreaded disease or the 'fever' that some people get inflicted with. Well, I got the symptoms on my first visit and have never recovered. It has affected not only me, but my whole family as well.
After attending the NTA Reunion and other shows I discovered a 1939 John Deere 'B' that needed a lot of TLC. When this tractor was completed, my wife and I and her family started showing that J.D. 'B' and their 1946 IHC 'B'. We would show at the NTA and participated in local parades with these two tractors.
When at the NTA Reunion, the family almost has a reunion of its own, with aunts and uncles and even friends and neighbors attending. Most of us camp there and participate for the entire event.
The year my father lost his battle to cancer, I lost my showing partner.
Needless to say I quit exhibiting. I even sold the 'B.' I bought several others but parted with them before the restoration was complete. Even though I quit exhibiting, the family continued to attend the NTA.
Several years had passed when one day my son Trevor talked me into helping him restore a David Bradley garden tractor that had been sitting in the shed. After doing that, I realized I had found another showing partner. Since then, he has restored a Fairbanks-Morse 'Z' headless hit and miss engine, a Briggs & Stratton engine, and a Chor-Trac garden tractor for 4-H projects. He has also exhibited them at shows. Trevor has also helped wrench on a few of my projects as well. He is a member and past director of Southeast Michigan Antique Tractor & Engine Association, Inc. (S.M.A.T.E.A.), as well as a member of NTA and S.C.R.A.P. I can say he has the same symptoms as I have.
This rare disease has not only affected myself and my son, but also has gotten to my wife and daughter. My wife Linda has been secretary of the NTA and is currently an elected director. She is also secretary/treasurer of S.M.A.T.E.A. She goes to every show and display that our toys happen to go to. Every once in a while she even goes to a swap meet with me and encourages me to buy. She keeps repeating, 'He who hesitates is lost,' which has happened to me a few times.
My daughter Kinsey is interested in the hobby as much as the rest of us. She has her own Maytag engine and claims ownership of the McCormick-Deering' F-12. She helps her mom at the NTA as well as the S.M.A.T.E.A. show and enjoys showing.
It's hard to imagine that twenty years have passed. That I would go from visiting to all sizes of gas engines, from small Maytags to large S. M. Jones, from having no tractors to several. I am a director at large of the NTA and president of S.M.A.T.E.A., also a member of S.C.R.A.P. and Early Engine Club.
As you can see, it is certainly a family affair. Come and visit us at the NTA 50th Reunion to be held at the Fulton County Fairgrounds at Wauseon, Ohio, June 22-26, 1994. For the Golden Anniversary, the oldest organized steam show will be a five-day event.
Or, you can come and say Hi! at the S.M.A.T.E.A. show on July 15-17, 1994 at the shaded Monroe County Nike Park, Newport, Michigan.