In Memory of Dennis Fast

Domestic vertical engines

Content Tools

55 Calumet Avenue, Oakland, New Jersey 07436

This story begins at the summer show in 1996 of the Blue Mountain Antique Gas and Steam Engine Club of Bangor, Pennsylvania.

Dennis, Ed Farley and I were looking at a 1/3 scale model of a 4 HP Domestic vertical engine displayed by Bob Herter. Bob said he was going to have castings made and was going to sell them as kits. Well, it wasn't long before the three of us decided we would each like to have one. Being a retired tool and die maker and having the machines needed for the task, we ordered three kits. We finally got the castings at the Fall Jacktown Show in October 1996.

I spend the winter months in sunny Florida, so I decided to take the castings with me and prepare them for machining. After returning in April, I started machining in earnest. Things were going well.

Three 1/3 scale models of 4 HP Domestic vertical engines I completed.

Dennis Fast on the right with his best engine buddy Ed Farley on the left. Taken at Blue Mountain Antique Gas and Steam Engine Show in Bangor, Pa.

Farley-Fast 1998 engine

Restored autos and tractors at the Farley-Fast 1998 engine show at the Wintermute Farm.

Later that summer, Dennis took ill with what they thought was pneumonia. Then in late July, Dennis was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. In just eight short weeks, Dennis lost his battle with the disease and passed away on September 20, 1997, at the age of 56. Dennis was an avid engine collector, with about 30 engines and a complete collection, of Debolt models. As fate would have it, I did not get the three models completed before his death.

With a heavy heart, I went on and completed them in September of 1998. They were displayed at the Farley-Fast Engine Show at which time Ed Farley got one and Dennis's partner, Barbara Irwin, got Dennis'. The Farley-Fast Engine Show was a dream of Dennis' and Ed's and started several years ago as a one-day get-together of several friends. It's held at the home of Dennis and Barbara's longtime friends, Dave and Jo Ann Wintermute. The event has grown into a great show, and this year over 150 visitors attended. Some of Dennis' engines were brought out and displayed, and brought to life in his memory. Now, every time I look at my model engine it reminds me of all the wonderful times we had together and I know he is watching from the Gas Engine Show in the Sky. Dennis, from all your family and friends, we miss ya!