It is said a story of success may start with a tragedy. That is what we started with this year. On Friday, our first day of show started out with rain, and, as the day progressed, it only rained harder. We couldn't do anything and didn't have enough people to pay postage. On the second day, though, that was not quite true. We had a polka dance in the afternoon and evening and the floor was dry and covered with people.
Saturday morning is when we like to think we got started and what a start we had. The mud, tramped by thousands of people, plus hot sun made the grounds a hard, dry, dustless place of enjoyment for all.
We had plenty of logs for the old Enterprize saw mill and Gilbert Oborn, E. J. Haffer and, when he wasn't making apple butter, Ted Yoder (all top sawyers) kept the saw running the rest of the weekend. A small nail in one of the walnut logs gave people a chance to see them file saw blade.
Saturday went along about as we had it scheduled. The craft tent being an outstanding attraction for the ladies who were interested in spinning of wool, weaving, macramae and pottery demonstrations.
Threshing by one or the other of our separators, one for gas and the other for steam went, on an increased schedule due to not being able to run Friday.
Utilization of parking space has always been a problem with us and it has been solved by a man named Breitigam, his wife and their neighbor, who do parking of cars from horse back. Mrs. Breitigam came by the mike stand and looked so very tired and one thing led to another so I asked her to go to dinner with me. I might have gotten away with this except I forgot to turn off the mike. You guessed it, it was heard all over the grounds and who was the next person to come to the mike, standing twelve feet tall (on horse back), Mr. Breitigam. He lifted me off the ground about two feet and said: 'Next time you proposition my wife, turn off the mike.'
Dick Boehr, our local realtor ran the mike on Sunday. If we ask him, he may do it again next year.
When we started, we were told by the electric company they would put up a large enough transformer to last at least five year's growth, so about dusk everything was going full speed and us in our fifth year. One large explosion spraying transformer oil and then darkness. The reason I brought this up is to share with you the approach taken by two people in the crowd at the time. One was a lady-no not a lady, a person who went into a screaming fit demanding her money back, (it was given) saying she would never come again. Now, let me tell you about Willis Anderson. At the time of outrage, we were having a square dance with music by the Dave Morgan Band. They took a break and Sandy (their vocalist) went home to milk the cows. During the break Willie Anderson went to his home and brought his portable generator and soon we had light, music and dancing. I can see a message in all this and although people don't change, I am sure we have more than our share of Willies at antique shows.
On Saturday we had the largest gate since we started five years ago and Sunday it was even larger.
The operations on Sunday were preceded by a fine church service with Gospel Crusaders from Berne, Indiana.
We had in addition to the Dave Morgan band a group of dulcimer players from the Greater Lima area. The dulcimer is an instrument with a very gentle sound and they were not able to drown out the gas engines, so they went out in the woods under a large oak tree with people sitting around on grass and provided the ultimate in folk music.
One of the things that seems to highlight the weekend is the parade of equipment....this year, when it was time for the parade, there was a line of cars coming in the gate that extended clear to town and still coming. I have always started the parade promptly on time, but with the number of people still coming, I intentionally got lost in the crowd for about fifteen minutes. Welt just about then one man who had to go home early, started loading his 65 HP Case. Suddenly someone said the engine stopped and was sitting with only one inch of the right wheel on the trailer. This made my hair stand on end, but a lot of care and understanding, plus a large forklift got it loaded. About this time I heard someone call me to the mike stand to announce parade and I probably lost track of time, so with people still coming in we got the parade started. We let people in the parade tell about their own equipment and it made an interesting way of displaying equipment.
Looking back at what we did, we must also look ahead at what we want to do this year. The club has purchased a smaller threshing machine for the people with 12 to 25 horsepower tractors. We also expect to have some more contests, including a log rolling contest down on the pond.
Our club used part of our profits to help tar the driveway through engine row so there should be less dust problem in that area. Also, we want to spend some time this winter removing some growth from under some large trees so we will have more flea market room.
So looking forward to this year's pleasures and problems, we hope to be seeing you all there.