Ohio Meets Indiana in Minnesota

Jack Maple and Robert Hecker

Jack Maple, left, and Robert Hecker in front of Big Four '30' tractor, at WMSTR reunion, September 1, 1985.

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13 W. Plum St. Tipp City, Ohio 45371

This year I had the opportunity to visit Minnesota and attend the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion, Inc. at Rollag.

My son, who lives in Minneapolis, and I arose early on Saturday morning around 6:15 a.m., drank a couple of cups of coffee, and 'chopped' into some cinnamon rolls. Feeling much awake by then, we packed up and headed for Rollag. The weather, being heavily overcast and raining lightly now and then, took away some of the enjoyment on such a trip. But we didn't become discouraged. We kept telling each other 'it'll be better in Rollag.'

After a few road stops and turn-offs to visit some of the towns on the way, we finally arrived in Rollag. Yes, it was raining and still overcast there, too. But we didn't mind this at all, as our enthusiasm voided the weather.

As we entered the gate, I was amazed at the sight of all the steam engines neatly parked in a row, and most of them smoking and ready to be belted up to something, or to just display themselves. We headed up the hill, and what a beautiful view, looking out over all those gas tractors to the big fields beyond! I told my son then that we were not going to be able to see everything that afternoon, and he agreed.

We left that evening to see if we could find a motel to stay at for the night. We did luck out, so now I can say I have been to Dilworth, Minnesota also. We arose early Sunday morning and headed back to Rollag, and to our surprise cars were lined up to get into the parking lot. Once inside the gates again, we continued on where we left off the day before.

Here I saw big, huge tractors and gas engines that, until then, I had only seen pictures of. As my son and I continued on surveying the many things on display, he said 'Wouldn't it be something if you saw someone up here that you knew', and I replied 'It sure would'. As we continued on walking between the rows of tractors, I looked up ahead, and there just about to get off of a little motor bike was my friend Jack Maple, and I told my son Jim 'By golly, you are right, it is something.' I guess Jack was as much surprised to see me as I was him. Anyhow it didn't take long for 'talk' to start, and a real good visit was had in Rollag. (Oh, by the way, the sun did shine Sunday, and on a lot of things!)

My son and I had a real good experience attending such a tremendous and beautiful show, and the people well, friendship was everywhere.

So, as it was, IRobert C. Hecker of Tipp City, Ohio and Jack Maple of Rushville, Indiana, met in Minnesota. The good Lord willing, I hope to attend again next year.