Hit-and-Miss

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Engine and tractor shows are so numerous and popular the show season is almost akin to a storm, the season blowing in full gale and then slowly drifting off. It's never actually over, of course, but the brunt of the season has passed by this time of year, leaving most of us reflecting on the engines we saw (or didn't get to see) and the people we met in the course of it all.

It's been a stellar year on both counts, a year in which I've had the pleasure of seeing more 'new' engines and meeting more people than I could have hoped for. The engines are always intriguing, and I never cease to be amazed at the skillful and creative ways in which collectors rescue and rejuvenate what most people would consider rusty old junk. Making the mistake of judging a book by its cover, I ran into one collector with a trio of engines so beautiful I assumed I was looking at the results of deep pockets versus hard work. I couldn't have been more wrong, as I discovered when I talked to the owner and learned he had painstakingly restored, by himself, three rare engines to an equally rare degree of beauty.

That owner's skill and artistry has been learned and acquired over the coarse of a lifetime, applied daily in the coarse of his work and then, when the daily work is done, transferred to the task of restoring his old iron. We're lucky to have people like that in our hobby, not only for what they preserve, but for what we can learn from them about skill, creativity - and people.

As ever, I look forward to your comments and questions about Gas Engine Magazine. Contact me anytime at (785) 274-4383, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265, or via email at: rbackus@ogdenpubs.com.