JOE LOPES, SR., of Lemoore, California, passed away suddenly in mid-December 1997. Joe was many things husband, parent, church member, club member, and friend. Joe is survived by his wife of over fifty years, four daughters and a son.
Joe and his son, Stan, were very active in restoring and displaying antique engines in the central California area.
I remember the first time I met Joe. He and Stan were showing their equipment at the Tulare Farm Show in February of 1991. I was amazed at Joe's ingenuity and expertise in building his displays. Little did I realize at that time we'd become good friends and fellow club members. Joe was a charter member of the San Joaquin Valley Antique Flywheelers (EDGE&TA Branch 63).
My respect for Joe grew over years. He was always ready to lend a helping hand no matter what the task. Joe, always an eager participant in our events, loved to share his knowledge of his hobby. He is missed by all who knew him.
Submitted by Vince Smith, San Joaquin Valley Antique Flywheelers, North Fork, California.
ORRIN MICHNA was a man of the earth. He farmed all of his working life on the same farm he was born on. He was a gentle jovial man who always had a twinkle in his eye. He and his wife Margaret were retired and they enjoyed gardening, eating out, rides in the farm country and weekly polka dances. Their home was across the road from the farm. The road was named Michna Road after his family. They had no children but had many nieces, nephews, and lots of good friends.
For the past 15 years, I was his friend, neighbor, and finder of lost engines. We spent many long hours in the truck traveling all over, looking at engines and tractors. He loved to go to auctions, and would always call when there was old iron on the auction bill.
His picture was in the June 1997 issue of GEM; he was one of the guys who helped save a big 12 HP Associated engine. Orrin was one of those 'characters,' a gentle man that everyone knew and liked. We would load up our old iron and head to a show where Orrin would sit and spin yarns about the old days and life on the farm. When I had to make a parts run in the truck, Orrin would always volunteer to ride shotgun. Those rides are a lot less fun now than when my good buddy rode along.
On November 12, Orrin died after a battle with the effects of a stroke. He was 81 years old. He was one of a kind. The engine guys all miss him.
Submitted by Dennis Kornwolf, 7133 Michna Road, Racine, Wisconsin 53402..