ShowtimeOn a Grocers Parking Lot!

Engine display of Donald Swanstone

Engine display of Donald Swanstone, Dearborn, Missouri.

Content Tools

200e. 13th St., North Kansas City, MO 64116

Mo-Kan Branch 19 of the Early Day Gas engine and Tractor Association held its first free public show on Saturday, June 1st.

Jim Fogle, Ray France, John Sinnett and Fred Thomson arrived along with a steady rain at the paved parking lot of Bob's IGA Grocery in Kansas City North at seven a.m. to begin setting up tents to protect the exhibitors from the elements. The blacktop was much appreciated as it had rained most of the preceding night.

The tents required only the assembly of a conduit frame, a vinyl cover and upright poles dropped into lead weighted bases sitting on the blacktop. In about forty-five minutes we were finished and sitting under cover, out of the rain to enjoy steaming hot coffee and fresh pastries from Bob's bakery department before setting up a rope guard rail along in front of the exhibit areas.

By ten a.m. there were fifteen exhibitors, fifty gasoline engines, two Rumley Oil Pull tractors and eleven hot air engines assembled to show the big city shopper what this fascinating hobby is all about.

Mother Nature smiled on us too, as by this time the rain had stopped and we had dry footing for both man and machine... and the people came!

Incidentally, Bob's was an ideal location for our engine show, as all of his stores display hundreds of antiques and other items from yesteryear. He even owns a few antique engines of his own.

One of the special things about this show was the fact that, though many of the visitors didn't know the hobby existed, they enjoyed taking the time to look, listen and see for the first time what antique engines and equipment are all about. Still others recalled almost forgotten memories of other times and other places when this kind of machinery was part of their lives as it was used to grind grain, pump water or generally make life just a little easier.

A number of people completed their grocery shopping and then went home to get their children and bring them back to see the show.

An estimated three thousand people passed through the display area and we appreciated the opportunity to share it with them. Only a few of these people had seen an engine show before.

The last engine was shut down about five p.m. and readied for the trip home... to await another show at another time on another day. (Our 1986 show is set for Saturday, June7.)