Twenty-One Years And Aging Nicely

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Sec., Carolina Fly-Wheelers, 3841 Highway 421 South, Boone, North Carolina 28607

About two weeks before the Boone Show, on Saturday, July 15th, at 7:00 o'clock in the morning, a small army of people outfitted with chain saws, pitchforks, lawn mowers, weed eaters, rakes, brooms and other appropriate equipment descended upon the show grounds for a work day. We had a tremendous turnout of workers that day, plus others continued sprucing up the area throughout the rest of the two-week period. As a result, the show grounds looked the best they have ever looked before a show.

Speaking of before the actual show, the month of June in our area saw nearly eight inches of rain! The first of July saw an inch-and-a-half of rain. I guess you know where this story is headed! For a solid week prior to the show, the weather channel called for thunderstorms everyday. I understand that during the show, July 28 and 29, some sort of front became stalled over the North Carolina coast and determined the whole state's weather condition. As luck would have it, we only had those thunder showers late in the day on both Friday and Saturday of our show. They were a little heavier on the second day, but that was when the majority of exhibitors were leaving. The 'dog days of summer' continued to heat up.

Boone's weather has been compared to Forrest Gump's box of chocolates you never know what you'll get! Just remember, you'll probably get wet and maybe cold; you'll probably also get hot, too; so don't forget your sunscreen and a hat, in addition to a change of clothes and a jacket or rain gear.

The size of our show seems to be growing and growing! It appears that once again we had the largest crowd ever. We were much impressed with the cooperation of most all involved: exhibitors, spectators, members, etc. Something that I was excited about was that we are beginning to educate our local residents with what we're about and many came to find out for themselves this year.

A couple from Gulfport, Mississippi, Bob and Rosie Hatten, were in our area camping. They read about our show in one of our local newspapers, saw our show signs, and came to check it out for themselves. I did not meet them, however, shortly afterward, I received a small package in the mail. They had double prints made of the pictures they had taken and sent the other set to our club. Of course, Curious Me, wanted to know how someone so far away just happened to be at our show and started to correspond with them. They had such a good time that they are going to try to come back again next year. That sort of thing is what makes engine shows so interesting! You meet some of the nicest, friendliest, 'down-home,' and basically honest people!

I couldn't possibly tell you about all the many exhibits or even a few, but something that was different this year was a recently restored, full-size, operational sawmill, which was powered by one of the steam engines. Also, nearby was a quarter scale steam tractor and sawmill operated by Larry DuFour of Cary, North Carolina.

From our records this year the following numbers were determined: 468 gas engines, 43 model gas engines, 37 tractors, one model tractor, 12 pedal tractors, three steam engines, nine model steam engines, 65 model steam engine toys, 48 garden tractors, 10 antique cars, four antique trucks, one antique car replica, four diesel engines, 64 miscellaneous displays and nine non-engine related vendors. There's no telling how many there would have been if everyone had taken the time to register.

Our club close out the season with our annual family/club picnic. We had a large turn-out: I believe there were 40-45 of us. We had much good food and fellowship. We had 13 friends and relatives who gathered the first Saturday in November for a day-long train ride from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Trion, Georgia, and back.

This was great fun, as well. In addition to these two annual events, a group also met to tour Cade's Cove and have a picnic together this fall. Who knows what we might decide to do next. There's already talk of several wintertime activities.

Quite a few people called to ask if we were having our show a week early, while several others traveled a considerable distance to attend then. We apologize for any inconvenience; please remember that our show is always the last weekend of the last full week of July. I hope that will help you remember. The 2001 show dates are July 27 and 28. See you then at the top of the mountain. Until then, work hard, play hard and rest well.

For information contact Betty Hodges at the above address, or phone 828-264-4977; e-mail