R.R. 2, Zeeland, Michigan 49464.
Winter time again and the snow is a foot deep, so it is time for the 3 R's. Resting, Reminiscing and Restoring. In the day and times in which we find ourselves, there seems to be very little time for reminiscing, but the good Lord has so arranged the seasons that outdoor activity slows down a bit and gives us time to look back on the past year and to plan ahead for a new year.
The world situation has not changed a great deal in the past year. A vast amount of unrest throughout the whole world, wars and rumors of war, and that much sought after but not yet found 'world wide peace,' but to us old engine buffs the world situation seems remote and far away many times.
As we go out to the shop and prepare to work on one more old relic, it could be either an old engine or an old tractor, or maybe some other old tool of by-gone years. Many times we sit for a little while and try to imagine what might have taken place during the life of that pile of cast iron, but to an old engine or tractor nut that pile of cast iron is a thing of hidden beauty. Each part is carefully taken off and cleaned and maybe repaired a bit, and then painted and the time comes when all is reassembled and carefully adjusted to the original specifications. Then comes the question 'will it run?' Some gas is put in the tank, a little poured in the priming cup, and she is turned over, and then comes the moment we have been waiting for -when it makes the first explosion and then steadies down to a steady rhythm and it sounds just as beautiful as 'Mozart B Minor.' Now we feel that our labors have not been in vain, so we put a tag on it, and the tag reads 'Ready for the Show.'
And speaking of shows, the Riverbend Steam & Gas Ass'n. held their 7th Annual Show on July 25 and 26 at their show grounds at Allendale, Michigan. The day dawned bright and clear, the weather was an engineman's dream. The temperature was in the mid 70's, clear and dry.
All club equipment had been hauled in the previous two days. All final touches had been taken care of and the show was ready for the road. Most guest exhibitors were on hand by 10 a.m. of the first day and had their machines playing sweet music.
The usual activity took place, threshing, baling, lumber sawing, shingle making, flour was milled and cornmeal was also being made and last, but not least, was home made ice cream. The food was again furnished by one of the local church groups, and it was very tasteful and plentiful.
Many questions were asked by the visitors and patiently answered by the club members. The best one was asked by a man in his mid 30's, who asked a gas engine exhibitor why he kept water in the hopper of his engine and the answer given must be an all time gem. He told this man he was very fond of instant coffee so he kept his water hot at all times. As most old gas engines steam a little while running, the visitor smiled and thanked him kindly and walked away.
Space does not permit listing all equipment shown and all guest exhibitors, so we'll just say thanks to one and all. The weather was more than perfect and the dust problem of the 1974 show was solved with the addition of a water wagon.
We surely owe our club members and those of other clubs across this great land of ours a genuine vote of thanks for all the work and time spent preparing for these shows, and for helping to preserve a part of our country's Heritage.
Most of this is a labor of love as often times there is not much money left after all show bills are paid. Again we thank the good Lord for the wonderful weather we enjoyed at show time and for keeping our show free from accidents. We also ask for His blessing on the New Year 1976.
The Riverbend Steam & Gas Show will be held again at the same show grounds on July 23 and 24, 1976.
You all come and see the greatest little show in the country.
Some pictures from the 1975 Riverbend Steam and Gas Association Show.