RD#3 Box 753-E Searsville Road Montgomery, New York 12549
Our neighbor, Bucky Andrews, was one of those avid collectors of antique engines and old farm tractors. Personally I found him to be a little on the obsessive side, but hey, what do I know, I'm just a city girl!
Every once in a while he would stop by with one of those 'metal monsters' and an engine or two on the back of his truck. He and my husband, Barney, would hang out outside and talk tractor jargon for an hour or seven.
No problem, I thought, just a passing fancy; after all, Barney was once a farmer. Probably just dreaming of days gone by. Boy, was I ever wrong!
It was March when it happened. Bucky came by and asked Barney for the 100th time to come join him and the guys for their weekly 'tinker with a tractor night.' I just figured it was that male bonding thing we hear about so often. We'll just let it run its course and be done with it. WRONG AGAIN! By April's end I was the proud owner of not one but three 'metal monsters', a Cushman Cub and a pile of assorted rusty stuff Barney found along the way. My garage runneth over!
Now, we live in a small town, so everybody knew about Barney's new habit. I was working in the local diner at the time and a day didn't go by without some nut telling me where we could get yet another tractor. They would tell me things I did not comprehend and then give me directions to places I didn't know existed. I was starting to feel as though this tractor thing was a conspiracy, but I kept my cool.
It was spring time, so as word got out, more and more people were showing up for these informal Thursday nights. One of these men 'in his infinite wisdom' brought about the idea of starting a tractor club with officers and by-laws. Suddenly this was the real thing here, just like the Boy Scouts, I thought. What next, a jamboree? Sorry I asked. Now they're going to put on their own tractor show. Right!
So for five months they planned and argued and changed plans and dates and argued and changed plans and dates and argued some more. Had I been taking book on this deal I would have given 10 to 1 odds this tractor show was not going to happen. And I would have lost my shirt because I was wrong once again.
The day before the show everyone was at Bucky's setting up their antiquated junk. They had tractors and hit and miss engines. Some people brought along old farm implements. They were really going to do this thing! Needless to say, I was dumbfounded. Their secretary, Bob Score, had what looked like a fold-away store set up with all kinds of drawings and cards he sells at all the shows he attends. Now I was impressed. Then they asked me (of all people) to write about the show. Don't ask me why I was chosen. They probably found out I wrote a letter to the editor at the local paper and it was published, so I figured, why not?
I got to the show at 11 a.m. and things were in full swing. There were people everywhere and these guys didn't even advertise. The field was crowded with tractors and engines and they were still coming in with more. They had free wagon rides for the little guys and tractor pulls for the big ones. Out in the field Martin was discing and someone else hooked up a plow. Later in the afternoon there was a tractor parade and a demonstration on how they made feed with an old corn grinder. The concession was selling everything from burgers to snacks all day long. And everyone seemed to be having a great time. I walked around all day talking to all the people and I was impressed with how friendly and informative they were. I learned more about tractors in that one day than I had in the last five months. I must say my whole attitude about the now 'Grand Hollow Old Time Power Association' changed.
This wasn't just about a bunch of guys showing off their toys. These guys are trying to preserve the way of the past. They say they're worried about what's happening to the fading farm communities that are being swallowed up by land developers. They build shopping malls and condos in the name of the almighty buck and never give a second thought to the precious farm land that's disappearing in the process. As Bob Score puts it, 'We may not be able to preserve the farm land. The best we can hope for is to preserve the memory and maybe the values of the old farming communities that are turning into graveyards of antiquated junk around America today.'
So maybe you would like to join us this year for the second annual. Now that the guys are (semi) organized, this show promises to be better than the first. I know they're raffling off a Cushman Cub, but God only knows what the second and third prizes will be. Like I said, they're semi-organized. The dates (for sure now) are Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16th.
On August 25th they plan to hold a demonstration at the Hill Hold Museum in Montgomery. And they're also planning to be at this year's Orange County Fair. Not too shabby for a bunch of Boy Scouts, wouldn't you say?
If you need more information please call Louis Andrews (914) 778-7779 or Robert Score (914) 778-3797.