Hard to believe, but suddenly, it's show time! Sure, there are a handful of shows in January and February, and things start picking up a little in March, but April really marks the launch of the season. And it's all uphill from here until late October, when things suddenly start quieting down. The chronological listing of shows featured in the index of the 2004 Farm Collector Show Directory bears this out, with only nine shows listed for January and 76 for April. Start planning your show itinerary now, because plenty of good events are taking place this year across the country. If you haven't ordered your 2004 directory yet, don't wait too long, because they're flying off the shelves.
The jump into the season is also a good time to discuss the show reports many of you so kindly send in, sharing with the rest of the old-iron crowd the sense of discovery and community that define so many of our gatherings.
One thing I think we'd all like to see more in show reports is specific detail about engines and tractors on display. The little things add up, and it's a plus to learn the year, serial number and horsepower of that IHC M at show X and who owns the rare Rock Island tractor at show Y. I like to think of Gas Engine Magazine as a magazine of record, a place where we document surviving machinery for everyone in the old-iron community. And the more details we have, the closer we come to fulfilling that goal.
Additionally, we still have problems with some of the images readers send in, particularly digital files. Basically, if you're taking digital pictures on anything less than a 2-megapixel camera the likelihood of your images making it to print is slim. They may look great on the screen of your computer at home, but by the time they make the transition to print they're the size of a postage stamp. That said, if you have the latest generation 5- or 6-megapixel camera, and you take shots at the camera's intermediate or 'fine' setting, your photos will probably be great. With the older digitals, if you know you're going to try and submit a shot, try and take the photo at your camera's highest setting. That will help put your photos in the running, and will increase the chance we'll all get to share in your show memories.