2821 Wilmington Road Lebanon, Ohio 45036
I am writing this letter and sending these pictures as an observer of the Old Timers Days in Xenia, Ohio. I am a school teacher of 33 years who was born and raised on a farm, but I do not make my living on the farm. I love old tractors, engines and farm equipment from the days prior to 1960.
I drove to Xenia on Wednesday, September 25, 1996 to take my three John Deere pride and joy engines and tractor to the Old Timers Days. The entire Greene County Fairgrounds was already full of tractors, horses, donkeys, mules, stationary engines, and one steam engine. The show did not start until 11:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. I wanted to drop off my treasured 'junk' and then go to the free homemade ice cream and cake dinner that is given every year by the Old Timers on the night before the show starts. I ate my share of ice cream. It was great!
I was up at 5:00 a.m. on Thursday and drove 24 miles to the Green County Fairgrounds to start enjoying the old tractors, engines and the wonderful smells that I enjoy so much, but it started to rain. That was not going to stop me from looking. I put on my rain gear and looked until 5:00 p.m. Then I went home to watch my daughter's volleyball game. I was tired by the end of that day.
Friday, September 27, 1996 I got to the Fairgrounds about 7:00 a.m. to start the same process of looking at every single display on the grounds. It started to rain again. So, I put on my rain gear and started looking at each display. I left that night at 7:30 p.m. and it rained the entire day. The Old Timers still had over 300 tractors, 200 engines, 100 garden tractors, sawmill, silo filler, 1923 Birdsell clover huller, one Appleton corn shredder, 1922 Minneapolis thresher, 1920 Advance Rumely thresher, 1944 Huber thresher, 1920 Huber steam engine, a very early Meadows grist mill, and many other antique pieces of equipment. I looked at every single engine, tractor and piece of equipment on the grounds. I was not going to miss anything!
Saturday I got to the grounds by 7:30 a.m. and it had stopped raining. The Old Timers were already getting the mules and donkeys ready for their show.
The corn, logs, wheat and clover were all being pulled out of the barns and ready to be sawed, threshed, shredded and hulled. I spent all day watching the Old Timers work. Russell Luse of Clifton, Ohio, spent most of the day taking care of the threshers and the clover huller. He had lots of help but Russell Luse was determined to harvest all of the wheat and clover. The rain had stopped all of that work for the previous two days. Saturday turned out to be a great day and lots of people came to enjoy the show. I went home at 7:30 p.m. and boy, was I tired!
Sunday I went to church and then went to the Old Timers Days at 12:00 noon. I spent the rest of the day watching the steam engine run the thresher, and the Birdsell clover huller. A large 1960s Massey Ferguson ran the sawmill with great ease. They sawed a lot of logs. By the end of the day all of the corn was chopped for the silo, clover was hulled, the wheat was threshed and the logs were sawed. The Old Timers were prepared for four days but they had to do all the work in two days because of all the rain.
It was a great four days for me. I sheared four sheep on Saturday and eight sheep on Sunday for the Old Timers. I ran my John Deere 1938 series E 1 HP, single cylinder engine and my 1951 John Deere LUC combine engine. I drove my 1979 John Deere 214 garden tractor all over the fairgrounds. I did what I really enjoy for four great days regardless of the rain. What more could a guy ask for!
It was really tough going back to school on Monday morning. I even had a guilty conscience skipping school on Thursday and Friday. It is nice teaching school, but it is absolutely great watching the Old Timers put on their show!