As I See It

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4777 Upper Valley Pike, Dayton, Ohio 45424

The Minneapolis-Moline Farm Equipment Collectors had their winter meeting at Sidney, Ohio 24-25 February 1989. The weather cooperated, which allowed for outside activity.

On Friday morning the Prairie Gold caps and shirts began arriving before 9 a.m. at the White factory in Coldwater, Ohio. Everyone was greeted by Public Relations personnel. Plenty of donuts and coffee were available to the men and women as they wandered around the large auditorium shaking hands and talking while admiring an 'R' Cab and two new White tractors.

The meeting started with a welcome and orientation talk by a White representative. This was followed by two company movies giving early history of the company and leading up to the big surprise of White furnishing its new tractors in four colors, Minneapolis yellow, Oliver green, Cockshutt red and silver gray.

The large crowd was divided up into smaller groups for a two hour tour of the plant. Certainly all of the 34 acres under roof were not toured, but enough to give everyone a workout and a good education in farm equipment manufacturing. The company was very proud of its new multi-million dollar painting department which wasn't congruous with some of the areas that dated back to 1910. Seeing the 1905 manure spreader was a reminder that farm technology has come a long way. Upon completion of the tour everyone was given brochures and White machinery caps.

Several of the collectors went to a restaurant in Coldwater where fried rabbit is a specialty but Dennis Parker and I ordered something that was quicker to prepare. Charles Thoma and his father, Don, were prodding Milt Deets and Dick Durig to finish eating as they wanted to hurry to Merv and Carol Simons' farm to look at Minneapolis-Moline tractors.

The Simons' are fortunate to have a large barn on their newly acquired farm to house the many tractors we had the privilege to see. Carol had prepared food and drink which was served in the heated lounge in the corner of the barn. We could also see their interest was in toys and MM memorabilia.

The sun and moderate temperature induced outside inspection of their collections. Fred Buckirt, vice president of the Case Collectors, told me that he and Larry Holmes took their wives to see Ed Axthelm's mountainous collection. Others during their stay in Sidney went a few miles east to see the fine collection of Adrian Egbert's family. Adrian and Alvin's father farmed with MM equipment so it may be natural for them to prefer this make.

During Friday afternoon many of the group were setting up display tables to show and tell or sell. Many were buying literature, shirts, and caps, along with memorabilia. With no program on the agenda it gave freedom for the collectors to compare notes, eat and look at pictures.

A good time was had but not without a few hitches. Roger Mohr and his wife planned to attend with a big display and movies, but they were hit in the rear of their van and this created a lot of damage and put them in the hospital. Fortunately their injuries weren't real serious and they were home in a few days. President Dan and Delores Shima came early to the gathering but, sad to say, Delores got sick and had to go to the hospital. We certainly hope all is well with these fine MM people now.

Saturday morning's schedule called for a visit to Alvin and Barb Egbert's farm. Everything was in readiness as people arrived. The bright sun made the unheated display comfortable. One could see much cleaning had gone into the preparation. Two buildings were full of Minny Moline tractors. Alvin's lounge was like a heated art gallery with colorful pictures, folders, clocks and signs everywhere. He even had his beautiful NOS neon sign lit up for us. Barb had prepared big ham sandwiches and delicious pastry, as well as drinks, for the visitors.

It was then noon and back to the Holiday Inn in Sidney where preparations were being made for the big auction at 2 p.m. This is always a crowded event with many needs being filled. Bruce Davis, founding member of the Case Collectors, brought a dandy Moline walking plow which realized $80 at the sale. At the Missouri MM auction flat lens headlights brought $30 a pair, and at Sidney over $40. Tin sold good but reasonable. Jerry Erikson, the Cotton boys and the Kenyons, along with several wives, helped with the auction.

Happy Hour before the banquet was a perfect time to talk tractors. One could say the wives almost enjoyed the levity that goes with tractor collecting.

Over two hundred attended the Collectors' get-together and at banquet time there was some doubt about getting so many fed-but it worked out fine-crowded but fine. Besides good food we had some of Harley Stokstad's original jokes. President Dan Shima chaired the meeting, which included selecting Mendota, Illinois as the winter 1989 meeting place, and nominations for board members were made. The principal speaker was Don Selking, sales manager from White, who showed a company film on the MM Vista.

At the present time, to my knowledge, only the Minneapolis-Moline and the Case Collectors have regularly scheduled activities and these are great. Come join the fun.

Several from the meeting came to Frandale Farm, Dayton, Ohio on Sunday morning to see Stuckey's old iron. Visitors are always welcome!