Mid-South Flywheelers Are Growing

Tractor and small engine lineup

Tractor and small engine lineup- larger engines were in the shade.

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Route 1, Box 39M Mason, Tennessee 38049

Three years ago several engine enthusiasts in the Memphis area got together and formed an engine club. Tommy Kuntz was elected the first president of the Mid-South Flywheelers. We showed our engines at other clubs' shows and in conjunction with various events in Memphis and the surrounding area.

In 1986, we held the first show of our own at the Agricenter International in Memphis. We had 6 tractors, approximately 50 engines and assorted items of old machinery exhibited. The state of Tennessee was celebrating Homecoming 87, so our club members were able to display their equipment before many people at various other events. Everyone was extremely proud of our growth.

Last winter we elected Herman Ray as our second president and our membership grew to 44 paying members. Our members built longer and larger trailers to carry larger and more engines. We met during the spring and discussed ways and means of making our shows more interesting. We gathered at Leslie Moffatt's shop one Saturday and started rebuilding the shaker pan in his Case thresher. Members went to sales and auctions to buy tractors, Maytag washing machines, and other items to add more interest. One member, Mr. B...(his wife doesn't know about it yet) bought a portable steamer and started its restoration.

August 20-22 was the date of our show this year. The show started on Thursday but some of our members had to start hauling on Tuesday after work in order to get all of their equipment hauled by Thursday. We had perfect weather. The Agricenter was having a show featuring new irrigation equipment and helped with advertising.

Leslie and his 12-20 Twin City were on the front page of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. A local television station, Channel 5, mentioned us on their morning show. Another station, Channel 13, showed us live on their Friday news. We had 111 engines, 16 tractors, a hay press, a thresher, several grist mills, a cut-off saw and many other interesting items. For three days we relived the 'old days' with many interested spectators. Joel and Leslie threshed with Leslie's thresher and Joel's JD 80. David Rayburn, David Tomlin, and Lee Williams ground corn meal from corn grown at the Agricenter. David Billingsly and Bud Sexton helped other members keep their engines running. Other members baled straw, demonstrated the fine points of engines and tractors. The wives kept a fresh supply of ice water available for our spectators. We added several new members and found many new friends.

Since then we have taken our equipment to other events and added even more members. One of them, Joe McCraw, saw a ? scale sawmill at Mt. Pleasant and has already built one and displayed it. Others are busy restoring F-30's, drag saws and other pieces of equipment for next year's show. We hope to continue to grow so that someday we can own our own showground and rival some of the large shows in surrounding states.