International Friendship Grows


Olds engine before restoration

Hubb Ven's Olds engine before restoration

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1361 Sherwood Forrest Road Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18360

Back in February of 1988, GEM published the story and pictures of my 6 HP Olds engine.

Well, a few months went by and one day I received a letter from Holland.

I knew I didn't know anyone in Holland, but when I opened the letter, a $50.00 bill fell on the table! The letter was from Hubb and Nellie Ven. Hubb had seen the write-up and pictures of my 6 HP Olds in GEM and needed help. He had a 3 HP Olds in very bad shape, with no carburetor or governor.

To look at it today, completely restored, you would never know what bad shape it was really in. He needed two major parts for the engine.

I had a 6 HP Olds and Hubb had a 3 HP Olds, and the parts were all completely different from each other in size. The first thing I did was send back part of the money he had sent me.

I had a friend, Paul Brodth of Bangor, Pennsylvania, who had a 3 HP Olds and he said I could take pictures and measurements of his engine and of the governor and carburetor. Next I needed someone who was very good at taking close-up pictures, and my friend Phillip Farce, of Stroudsburg, said he would take the pictures for me. I had to get everyone together on a Sunday to take the pictures, and then I drew the diagrams and measurements of each piece. We sent all this information to Hubb, in Holland, and told him there was no way he would ever make these parts! But I found out you never tell a Dutch boy there's no way you can make something, because about three weeks later I got a letter with pictures of the carburetor he had made it!

Another two weeks went by and on a Saturday morning the phone rang and it was Hubb, all excited, saying, 'Good friend Ron! Good friend Ron! The Olds runs. The Olds runs!' He said, 'Listen.' Well, sure enough, outside his sliding doors, when he opened them, I could hear the Olds engine running Putt-Putt-Putt Bang!

Just what I always wanted to hear, all the way from Holland!

When we first started writing to each other, the Vens had to have someone write for them, as they couldn't speak English at all. Over the three years we have known each other, Nellie has taken a course in English and can now write her own letter to us and we can talk on the phone together. Hubb's English is getting much better, too.

Their big dream was to come to America and meet the Haneys and go to a big engine show. The biggest engine show near us is the Rough and Tumble Show at Kinzers, Pennsylvania.

Well, Ven's dream came true in August of 1992. They arrived in America to stay for 17 days with the Haneys. The Sunday after they arrived we had a surprise for them. On our property we have an original old log cabin, which made a great setting for an engine show. We had the engine show all planned and our friends were invited and also our engine club friends who wanted to meet Nellie and Hubb. Everyone brought covered dishes and the men brought engines. We had friends from the Kempton Engine Club of Kempton, Pennsylvania, and also friends from the Jacktown Club of Bangor.

Hubb standing with Haney's 10 HP International to his left is Haney's 8 HP Quincy restored last year. It had belonged to the Falcon family of Bangor, Pa., for over 80 years.

We even had one lady from Holland named Myrika who could speak English. She lives over here now so she was our interpreter, and she was a great help. We had a great day, with a lot of good food and about 75 guests.

There were engines running all afternoon and everyone had a wonderful time. Nellie and Hubb brought gifts for everyone; little Delp shoes for the ladies and plaques of engines for the men.

The next big trip was to go to the show at Kinzers. Our friend Dane Thatcher of Belfast, Pennsylvania, was going down to set up for the show, so we weren't going down 'til Friday. And all Hubb talked about was wanting a one wheel New Holland to send back to Holland. We had Dane check and see if he could find one before we got there. Sure enough! Dane met us on Friday morning and he had found one for Hubb to look at.

Hubb was so excited within one hour he had his one-wheel New Holland! Hubb kept saying, 'I will own the only one-wheel New Holland engine in Holland!' Then we made arrangements with Lee Pedersen to have it sent to Holland, and Dane and Lee took it to be crated and shipped and it was on its way. Five weeks later it arrived safe and sound at its new home with the Ven family.

Then the time had come to go back home for the Vens but they made many new friends and hated to have to leave. But they went back with new nicknames which their two sons call them all the time. They are now known, as Putt-Putt Hubb and Pocono Nellie!

We Haneys are looking forward to visiting Nellie and Hubb in two years when Ronald retires. If everything is okay and we have our health, we plan to go over to Holland. What fun!