Branch 28 Founding And Show Report

By Staff
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Joe Hardin's 25 HP Superior at Branch 28, West Plains, Missouri, last August

Route 4, Box 88 Gainesville, Missouri 65655

Very early in 1988 Bob Moore, Joe Hardin and Bruce Dawson got
together to discuss, among other things, the formation of an
antique engine and tractor club. As a result, an ad was placed in
our local swap and trade paper. The date was set for March 7, 1988
at the Ramada Inn at West Plains, Missouri.

Twenty-nine attended that gathering and much ground was covered.
The cost of the meeting room inspired us to seek another location.
The Community Room at Centerre Bank in West Plains became our
regular meeting place on the first Monday evening of each
month.

The first group of officers selected were: Joe Hardin, Safety
Director; Gary Underwood, Secretary-Treasurer; Bruce Dawson, Vice
President; while Ed Roininen was ‘volunteered’ into the
Presidential hot seat. It was decided to try and affiliate with
E.D.G.E. &. TA. An inquiry was sent to Jack Versteeg on March
21, 1988, and as a result Branch 28 became a reality.

We then tackled setting up a show. ‘Where’ was taken
care of when we approached the Board of the Heart of the Ozarks
Fairgrounds. The third weekend in August was open, and we were set.
Publicity, insurance and activities came next. A shortage of
workers was a worry, as it is with all shows.

Time flew by. Showtime came, as did quite a heavy rain on
Friday, our set-up day. The pulling grounds turned to slick, sticky
grease. Saturday turned out great. We had about 50 gas engines and
35 tractors show up. Not bad for ‘first timers’.

Slow races, fast start, or dead tractor races plus pulling was
enjoyed by all. Joe Hardin sawed shingles with his mill and
traction engine. He also brought a 25 HO Superior oil field engine.
Ted Pollak with his Copar Panzer tractor, Matt Heimer ground flour
and meal with his grist mill, Earl Henry from Hasty, Arkansas
showed up with, among other things, a ‘double-jointed’
bicycle, the Quentin Jensen’s from Pittsburg, Kansas showed up,
as did many members of Branch 16 from Republic, Missouri. A good
time was had by all, thanks to a group of hard workers and to the
ladies who took care of the gate and other tough jobs, a very
special thanks.

Next year’s show is set for August 11,12, and 13, with plans
for a bigger and better show with more displays and activities.

We are very fortunate in having such a good location right on
the highway at the edge of West Plains, with the Weigh Station
Motel next door.

Meanwhile, plans were underway for a show at Hodgson’s Water
Mill during the third weekend in October. Time arrived, the Lick
Creek Fire Department set up their lunch wagon. Those people serve
a very generous portion at a sensible price.

Nature cooperated and gave us perfect weather with fall colors
to rival any in the Catskills or Poconos. The old mill is set deep
in the Bryant Creek Valley on Missouri Highway 181 north of
Gainesville, with plenty of space to set up and camp. We had a good
turnout of engines and spectators for a small weekend gathering.
Joe Hardin brought his traction engine and shingle mill, Gail and
Gary Underwood brought a very well restored unstyled J.D. B-O. The
Bill Sterret’s came in from Kansas with several engines,
including a rare Collis. Allen Howe and Ed Roininen brought trailer
loads of engines, some members of Branch 16 dropped by. The weekend
passed all too quickly.

Now begins the long dry spell between shows. The third weekend
in October was set for next year’s show at Hodgson’s Water
Mill. An earlier show is set for Dawt Mill on the Norfork River,
also.

We recently became aware of an unpleasant trend regarding our
hobby. Some merchants and organizations are starting to pay
exhibitors to show and this puts the young clubs and shows to a
great disadvantage. Everyone knows there is a lot of expense
involved in getting equipment to and from shows, but it’s also
part of the hobby. It may put both parties into serious liability
as many insurance underwriters will not cover on homeowner
liability clause under such circumstancs. They consider any
reimbursement or gratuity as payment.

So much for now. We hope to see a lot of you at Dawt Mill, Heart
of the Ozarks Fairgrounds or Hodgson’s Water Mill. The members
of Branch 28 invite all of you.

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