How To Soften A TOUGH CUSTOMER

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Bob Carberry of Sharon, Connecticut, cranks up his 3 HP United.

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Century Museum Village & Collectors, Association R. D. #1, Box 116, Wassaic, New York 12592

The fellow behind the wheel of the big Lincoln with a backseat full of squirming kids was less than cordial: 'Suppose we don't like the show, will you give our money back?' he demanded. Ticket taker Carol Boice took a deep breath and took the gamble. 'If you're not satisfied, we'll refund your money,' she assured the reluctant customer.

The event was Century Museum Village & Collectors Association's 12th Annual Antique Engine, Machinery and Crafts Festival, held last May 21-22 near Stanfordville, New York. With spectator attendance lower than usual due to the threat of rain, the club could ill afford any ticket refunds.

Inside the showgrounds, 'Mr. Lincoln' and kids were captivated by the children's tractor pulling contest. A weight sled, designed much like its full-sized counterparts, had been built by Milt Stickes and Clyde Shook at their homes in Hudson, New York, and the children were enthusiastically pumping a pedal tractor to see who could drag the weight sled the farthest. Cheered on by her brothers, 'Mr. Lincoln's' daughter won the contest, much to the delight of the now-beaming father. As the Lincoln pulled away two hours later amidst smiles, waves and shouts of 'See you next year,' Carol Boice let out a big sigh of relief!

That scenario is just one cameo glimpse of the fun and frolic of a memorable weekend. Right from the early-bird arrival of Don Williams from Lake Katrine, New York, with his flawlessly running Domestic sideshaft model to the departure of the clean-up crew late Sunday evening, it was a weekend not to be forgotten. Over 100 machinery collectors, 24 crafts demonstrations, 35 antique cars, 22 antique motorcycles and 32 antique/collectibles vendors made for a show of diversity and entire family interest.

Joe and George Henshaw came up again from Milford, New Jersey with several antique tractors and a 1924 Model T clown car. Joe cheerfully gave dozens of rides to kids, young and not so young, around the showgrounds.

Nearly as active were the tractor owners with their participation in the annual slow race and in the tractor balancing contest on the teeter-totter. 'Looks are deceiving!' So found some tractor owners in the 'mystery event' which turned out to be a 'blind man's driving contest'. Tractor and driver were lined up with a gap way between two pylons, some 50 feet away and were instructed to drive through the gap-with a bag over their head. Now that sounds simple enough, but a surprising number of contestants ended up 'headed for Hawkins', much to the amusement of all. So guys, and gals,. tighten up your steering linkage and come by next May 20-21 to try your skill.

Thanks to the planning of Pete Wing and the layout committee, the showgrounds configuration was redesigned so that nearly all points on the grounds had a clear view of the ongoing events in the center arena.

The 1989 show will be held on May 20-21 at the Country Fare Antique Center on state route 82, 3 miles south of Stanfordville, New York. The showgrounds are easily accessible from many points in New England, Long Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The show will feature Domestic engines and equipment, although all makes of equipment are invited to attend. Domestic expert, Don Kirkpatrick, will be our special consultant/guest and will have with him shipping records that date most every Domestic ever made. Don will also bring a slide presentation on Saturday evening of the show.

For further information, contact Asa Beckwith, Secretary at 914-635-3217 or write him at RD 3, Box 178, Route 44, Pleasant Valley, New York 12569. Century Museum Village and Collectors Association's address is Box 280, Pleasant Valley, New York 12569.