No, I’m NOT Interested!

By Staff
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Right view of the Robert Ingalls' Fairbanks Morse engine.
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Front view of the Robert Ingalls' Fairbanks Morse engine.
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At the LaGrange show.
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Robert Ingalls' first trailer set up with saw, drill press, and green Fairbanks Morse, which was his first engine.

64958 M-43 Hwy. Bangor, Michigan 49013

Those were the famous last words of my father-in-law Bob Ingalls
as he viewed the annual Van Buren Flywheeler’s Antique Engine
Show held at the fairgrounds in Hartford, Michigan four years
ago.

He expressed his disinterest as he sat in his camper in the
parking lot along with my husband, Pat, and his mother, Helen. Pat
had persuaded his parents to accompany him to the show after they
had come over to our house to visit. After several unsuccessful
minutes of trying to convince him of going in, Pat finally went and
purchased a ticket and gave it to his dad. Not one to turn down a
free admission, his dad finally accompanied them in, grumbling as
he walked through the front gate.

Pat had attended the show the year before and thought his
parents would be interested in it. Once inside, they were impressed
by the extensive engine displays and especially liked the working
exhibits. Having his parents along provided even more information
as they remembered using different engines often when they were
younger.

Before long, uninterested Dad was browsing through the piles of
‘collectibles’ that were for sale by the exhibitors and
also in the flea market. After a long day of talking with engine
people and walking through the flea market and arts and crafts
building, they finally called it quits and left. Not much was said
about the show by his dad until the next summer, when he questioned
Pat as to when ‘that engine show was.’ Then that September,
the entire family attended the show and enjoyed it, especially our
children.

The following May, Pat received a Stover engine for his birthday
that his parents had bought while on a trip to Wisconsin to attend
a wedding. They admittedly had been trying to find an engine show
to attend while in Wisconsin and had come across the Stover engine
for sale. This was just the beginning of the collecting that was to
follow. Before long, Dad had bought his first engine, a green
Fairbanks Morse, and then built a trailer to haul the engine. He
added a reciprocating metal saw run by the engine to the
display.

By now, my in-laws were attending engine shows in the Midwest,
and Dad soon had his little trailer full as he added Maytag and
John Deere engines to the collection along with a working drill
press. As you can probably guess, it wasn’t too long before Dad
had to get a BIGGER trailer and then of course some kind of shelter
needed to be built to store his display. By this time, the whole
family had joined the Van Buren Flywheelers and were actively
involved in helping with upcoming shows. Even Pat’s brother
Mike has a few engines that he received from his parents, and he
attends shows in Michigan.

To say the ‘Flywheeler Fever’ has hit our family is to
put t mildly. As Dad’s collection has grown so has ours.
There’s nothing too fancy or unusual about our engines but we
love attending the shows and displaying them just the same. As you
can probably guess-Pat’s uninterested dad has the largest
engine display in our family!

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