Bluffton, Ohio 45817
Aerial photo of Northwest Ohio Antique Machinery Association Show in 1974 at Bluffton, Ohio.
Courtesy of Bob Flick, Bluffton, Ohio 45817 GF-75
As nothing is complete until the report is written, this will be a report of some of the impressions left after our show at Bluffton, Ohio.
The most outstanding memory was the thing most important to me and that is the mood of the crowd. Of course we are happy doing the thing we like but I felt the spectators enjoyed seeing us have fun. At another earlier show I overheard a lady ask her friend if they were going to Bluffton. Oh yes she said 'Bluffton is different'. And that is how we at Bluffton plan it.
We realize that some men and women never tire of hearing engines running, but some do, so we had in continuous operation a wide array of old time crafts. The craft show was organized and operated by the untiring effort of Jean Ream of Bluffton.
Jean allowed the craft people to sell anything they made but they had to make what they sold and this gave a different atmosphere than the flea market. Always interesting was Dema Diller with her spinning of yarn and altho she said only men spin yarns, I believe she spun some yarn and yarns both. Anyway if we could heed her philosophic wit we could find life fun again. Countering what Dema said with words was the sweet but silent Mrs. Reigle that demonstrated her extreme talent at quilting, or the craft persons that did painting, ceramics, broom making, macrame, leather work and the cute little Julie Murry and her hand dipped beeswax candle factory with one employee, Sandra Mulvania.
This year we had enough saw logs to keep the sawmill running all the time and that department was ably handled on Fri. and Sat. by Ted Yoder and Sun. by Gilbert Oborn while Ted made apple butter. Sawing is hard work and we want to thank all the people that took part in this crowd pleasing part of our show. The mill itself is an Enterprize. It was restarted after about 30 years of retirement and it took a lot of courage and faith to take a chance on it working, but caused little trouble. Oh I guess there was a babbitt bearing went out but next year we will find some old timer to put on a new one and be ready to run again. Ted changed pulleys each day so both steam and gas men had a chance to have their chance at running the mill.
Francis Lehman was busy with one of his many responsibilities, that of threshing the 12 or so acres of wheat. He had two threshing machines running, one rigged for steam and another with a larger pulley on the cylinder shaft for gas and kero. tractor. This is an important part to any antique tractor show and it's the recall of sight and sounds of an engine under load, the humming of a cylinder, the pulsating air sound of the straw blower, tripping of the tally, the good natured joshing about poor bundle wagon loading, and wheat flowing into the wagon. And ever to be remembered 'You kids quit playing in that wheat.' I hope these things can never be forgotten.
The straw was baled by the Case hand tie baler owned by the club and our chairman being called out of town, Gene Schmidt rounded up a bunch of willing high school boys and baled up all the straw (plus a pitch fork and baler block.) Part of the hard work that needed doing to make the success that we had.
On stage (Gene Schmidt's implement trailer) was the entertainment tent, that was placed in the center of activities so we could see what was going on and also enjoy the continual musical programs. The Baverian music by Vernoff on Friday, the always entertaining Dave Morgan band on Saturday. Sunday the Gospel Crusaders provided something for everyone.
On an experimental basis that proved to be a highlight and demands repetition next year, was old fashion square dancing Fri. and Sat. evenings. Lacking a dance floor, due to a mix up in scheduling, our dancers pushed back chairs and danced in the dirt with as much enthusiasm as I've ever seen.
I am sure that many things will later come to mind but saved until last is a few words about that cooperative great bunch of guys and gals that bring the hundreds of different and some never seen before gas engines. Gas engine row, about one eighth mile long and large enough area that I thought couldn't get full, was overflowing with engines. Filling the air with the sounds and smells of equipment that may have started out to pump water but ended up doing many chores around the homestead. Everything from washing clothes to grinding sausage. I know of no group in the society who do more and demand less to the benefit of the show than the fellows in gasoline engine Alley. All the hours spent in restoration are evident in the pride shown in these engines.
When Mr. and Mrs. Virgil McClure of Decator, Ind., the first to arrive, pulled in I asked if he would help people with engines find places to show them and from then on there was no more problems. Well there was one problem, one sweet young lady did express some admonition about having to walk so far to rest rooms. For next year we will try to resolve by either moving engines or restrooms or buying a bicycle for Linda Tyler.
All this before we have a financial report but Margie Huber says we should have a nice net figure to go into next year's show. We have paid off the debt on the restrooms and want to doze off some more of the wooded area of undergrowth for more room for next year.
Again thank you to everyone having part in the show and to all the estimated 20,000 spectators that made three days of fun.
An old 1928 Chevrolet. I have restored and it is in good shape. This was my first car at 21 years old. My father told me if I could take in enough money threshing a Stack run, I could have the car, pretty tough going at that time but I made it. The 1927 truck beside it on the left. We have them along with everything else.
Courtesy of E. G. Huppert, R.R. 1, Box 437, Solon Springs, Wisconsin, 54873