Box 356, Carrington, North Dakota 58421
The story begins in 1974 when I bought a 7 HP Galloway saw rig from a gentleman east of Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada. I called him the night before and he said 'Yes, I have a old gas engine, but it is on a saw wagon and I won't sell the saw; but you can have the old Galloway engine as it is all froze up and no good any more.' Well, my friend and 'Mechanic Supreme', Harold Schmid and I drove out to their farm the next morning just as happy as two kittens in a creamery. When we drove into the yard he noticed my license plate and said, 'I see you are one of those Yankees.' . . .I replied with a proud affirmative and asked him what part of the states he came from. He said his dad and family moved up here in 1916 from Waterloo, Iowa and brought this saw rig along. It was nearly new at the time and his dad sawed wood for the neighbors at 50 per hour and 50 or 60 for the engine and saw. After the visiting awhile I could see he was quite proud of the fact he came from the 'States' and we had no trouble dealing from this moment on. We purchased the Galloway and started home. It was stuck, valves rusted beyond repair, rings broken and in a total mess, but with the help of my friend, Harold, we got it restored probably better than when it was new.
I called our Canadian friend one evening and told him about our success with the engine and that we would like to buy the saw and wagon too. He wouldn't think of it as he belted the saw to an 'A' John Deere and still used it to put up all his wood. I proposed a trade for a real heavy saw and table which I had, and we took it up for inspection and approval. But what do you suppose happened? He had been sawing with the outfit that had the blade on the left side for over 60 years and my outfit had the saw blade on the right side. With a little persuading he was convinced that he could learn to saw wood from the right side and not lose an arm in doing so.
I have taken the saw rig to several shows in the area, such as the Central North Dakota Steam Threshers Show, held in New Rockford in September of every year. But where I had the most enjoyment was this fall at the South Central Threshing Association meet in Braddock, N. Dak. Most of the time I am busy sawing up slabs from the saw mill, but that was kind of unrewarding while the little kids were watching, hanging onto their parents, asking 'What is that thing?' It probably resembled something from outer space to them, but surely the old man running it didn't look like an astronaut! I decided to get the kids in the act and make them feel like they were part of the show. I took a log about 10 inches in diameter and sawed off pieces about an inch or so thick this demonstrated the saw and when I had sawed about 20 pieces I would shut down the rig, get my 'SMILEY' stencil out, and with the aid of a can of spray paint, I became an instant artist. The kids were lined up waiting for their 'SMILEYS' and the Grandmas wanted some too. One Mother told me at the show in New Rockford that her boy put his on the wall in his bedroom last year and it is still there. Some mothers even offered a dollar for one and could hardly believe that a 'smile' is still free and so easy to give but the best thing of all is to see all those little smiling faces go home with their 'SMILEYS'!