The Rough and Tumble Historical Association, well-known as a man's domain for many years, has elected a woman president, Patricia Kreider, a gas engine collector.
Pat (Tricia) has been a member since 1968, formerly served as secretary and first vice president. She is fully familiar with the organization and obviously has the backing of the men on the nominating committee who recommended her to head the group.
Rough and Tumble, located at Kinzers, Pennsylvania is the oldest organization of its kind east of the Mississippi. It is 31 years old the same age as Mrs. Kreider. 'I think we were meant for each other,' she comments.
The president has three gas engines: a 5 HP New Holland, her pride and joy, with a plate mill on the back; a 1 HP International, and 'a 3 HP New Way.
Patricia has not missed a Rough and Tumble Reunion in 15 years. She started as a child, attending with her father, and recalls eating 'a lot of ham and cheese sandwiches over the years.'
Her father was on the board of directors in the 1960s. Before that, she helped him when he sold gas engines and parts from the rear of a Ford truck. Her first husband, the late Harry Frey, was also very active on the board; he was a steam person. Now she is married to Glen Kreider, who works on a farm and is becoming interested. He now refers to her New Way as 'his' engine, but in general is a Case man.
Mrs. Kreider is an elementary school librarian at Chester, Pennsylvania, and commutes daily 45/50 miles one way, to her job which includes service at three schools. She is a graduate of Millersville State College. She spends every Saturday at the R & T grounds, and during the reunions and other events is always present.
Rough and Tumble's 1,500 membership is predominantly male, she finds, but she checked through the cards and found about 15% women. One woman, Mrs. Hope Emmerich, from near Hershey, Pennsylvania, has her own fire engine, 'and her husband doesn't care at all about engines.' Many wives help in restoration and painting. A ladies auxiliary, founded in 1978, is becoming very active, especially with fund-raising and uses the farm house on the grounds as headquarters and sale center.
Do men mind having a woman as president?
'A lot of the men think I'm just one of the guys,' says Pat. 'I know most of the fellows and am very happy with the group. I couldn't do the job without the men. And I'm very happy they consider me competent enough to listen to what I have to say. With a bit of Amos Stauffer's direction and what I have learned from the men, I hope to be able to fill the position.' Amos Stauffer preceded her as president.