The Frustrater

John Deere B on the Frustrater

John Deere B on the Frustrater at the steam pageant.

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Sec. Mohawk Valley Power of the Past HC 69 Box 10-A Morris, New York 13808

The Frustrater!! What is it? Where is it? Have you tried it? These are some of the questions you hear at our show. But as for answers, they vary. Some say, 'Yes, I've tried it and it's a lot of fun.' Others say, 'I've got to try it,' and still others, 'I'm not going to let everyone see me try it, what if I fail?' Myself, I was one of the latter, afraid I would fail and be embarrassed.

Now that I have aroused your curiosity, I will let you hear all about it from its designer and builder, Bob Peck, member of the Mohawk Valley Power of the Past Association. Bob says, 'Many of our club members expressed an interest in having a 'teeter-totter' for our annual show. They seemed to think it would be great fun for both participants and spectators. It would certainly be a game of skill for people to balance their tractors.' Bob went on to say he had never seen one, but after talking with a few fellows who had, he got the idea of what to do. He said, 'It seemed to me to be useful. It should be very simple, made of steel to keep maintenance to a minimum, and be mobile to go from show to show. With this in mind, I did some shop experimenting and drew up my plan. The club agreed with my design of a variable pivot to make it compatible with different sizes of tractors. Many members contributed the steel and we had a work night to put the deck on just before our show. When it was done, we tested it with one of my tractors and a pickup. We were greatly satisfied.'

At our 1994 show, it really got tested by various sizes of tractors and pickups. I smile as I remember the first one to give it a go after it was set up on our show grounds. Lois Stack took time out from the kitchen to test it, by balancing Lois! Then Ed Weston whipped up on it and his station wagon. They both had a perfect balance with the first try.

Bob said, 'What a feeling of joy I had to see how well it performed and the fun that people had. Someone asked me what I was going to name it. Watching the expressions on people's faces, when they thought they had mastered it only to be defeated by it, made it obvious to me that the name 'The Frustrater' would fit the best.' It now bears the name on its side, and lives up to that name according to all who try to master it.

Bob built the machine with the intent of featuring it at our club's shows. However he has let other clubs use it and you may have seen it at their shows. So as you can see, it has tried the skill and patience of many club followers. We try to have someone with the machine for safety and of course cannot allow tractors with lugs on the steel grate both for maintenance as well as safety reasons. We are greatly in debt to Bob for his ability, his time, and a lot of his own money that was put toward 'The Frustrater.' Thanks, Bob, for a job well done. You are truly a dedicated club member.

Oh yes, in case you are still wondering, yours truly did try it, but I was chicken and waited until after the show when only Bob Peck and Bob Steele were watching. Yes, I did balance our John Deere unstyled B the first time up. Boy did I get a swelled head, only to have it deflated on the next try. It was beginner's luck I guess, as all other times I tried I had to move the tractor two or three times to balance. I didn't think I could do it or that I would enjoy it, but it is a challenge and to my surprise I had almost an hour of pure fun that afternoon. I urge anyone who can drive a tractor to come and get 'frustrated.' It is fun!

I read articles in GEM about shows all over the country. I thought perhaps you would enjoy hearing a little bit about ours. The Mohawk Valley Power of the Past's Show is one of the first of the year in New York State. In its ten year history, it has always been held on the first full weekend in June, making the 1995 show Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 2,3, and 4. Anyone can come in on Thursday to set up if they wish.

We feature a 'dish-to-pass' supper on Friday night. All members, exhibitors, vendors, and their families are welcome to bring a dish and join in. You can browse through our flea market and crafts or enjoy good food served on the grounds all weekend, featuring 'Bob's Famous Pancake Breakfast' which starts at 7:00 a.m. Of course the 'coffee and bull' session begins at 6:00 a.m. or before. The famous 'Limburger Club' usually holds meetings both Friday and Saturday. Any 'cheese connoisseur' may join this club. Their aroma has earned them a meeting place just outside in the fresh air! Some members, like Charles Dygert, bring their leftovers to eat on their pancakes the next morning. We have free admission, parking and primitive camping (with flush toilets, but no hook-ups). A brass plaque, ribbon and button are given to all exhibitors. Activities include tractor, truck and antique car parades, Baker fan, tractor games, and various entertainment all weekend. Saturday, we feature a donation and consignment auction and an antique tractor pull with trophies. There is a chicken barbeque on Sunday. Thanks to our exhibitors we have a fine show of tractors, engines, and working exhibits. This year we plan to feature antique radios and land plows as well.

Our show is held on the Fireman's Field, Westmoreland, New York, Rt #233, mile off the New York Thruway, exit #32. For more information call Bob Steele at (607) 263-5085, or write to me at the above address.

Everyone has a good time at our shows as we try to make it family fun. We wish to extend an invitation to all. Hope to see you there either trying your skill, or watching 'The Frustrater' in action!