The Frustrater

By Staff
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John Deere B on the Frustrater at the steam pageant.
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Sec. Mohawk Valley Power of the Past HC 69 Box 10-A Morris, New
York 13808

The Frustrater!! What is it? Where is it? Have you tried it?
These are some of the questions you hear at our show. But as for
answers, they vary. Some say, ‘Yes, I’ve tried it and
it’s a lot of fun.’ Others say, ‘I’ve got to try
it,’ and still others, ‘I’m not going to let everyone
see me try it, what if I fail?’ Myself, I was one of the
latter, afraid I would fail and be embarrassed.

Now that I have aroused your curiosity, I will let you hear all
about it from its designer and builder, Bob Peck, member of the
Mohawk Valley Power of the Past Association. Bob says, ‘Many of
our club members expressed an interest in having a
‘teeter-totter’ for our annual show. They seemed to think
it would be great fun for both participants and spectators. It
would certainly be a game of skill for people to balance their
tractors.’ Bob went on to say he had never seen one, but after
talking with a few fellows who had, he got the idea of what to do.
He said, ‘It seemed to me to be useful. It should be very
simple, made of steel to keep maintenance to a minimum, and be
mobile to go from show to show. With this in mind, I did some shop
experimenting and drew up my plan. The club agreed with my design
of a variable pivot to make it compatible with different sizes of
tractors. Many members contributed the steel and we had a work
night to put the deck on just before our show. When it was done, we
tested it with one of my tractors and a pickup. We were greatly

At our 1994 show, it really got tested by various sizes of
tractors and pickups. I smile as I remember the first one to give
it a go after it was set up on our show grounds. Lois Stack took
time out from the kitchen to test it, by balancing Lois! Then Ed
Weston whipped up on it and his station wagon. They both had a
perfect balance with the first try.

Bob said, ‘What a feeling of joy I had to see how well it
performed and the fun that people had. Someone asked me what I was
going to name it. Watching the expressions on people’s faces,
when they thought they had mastered it only to be defeated by it,
made it obvious to me that the name ‘The Frustrater’ would
fit the best.’ It now bears the name on its side, and lives up
to that name according to all who try to master it.

Bob built the machine with the intent of featuring it at our
club’s shows. However he has let other clubs use it and you may
have seen it at their shows. So as you can see, it has tried the
skill and patience of many club followers. We try to have someone
with the machine for safety and of course cannot allow tractors
with lugs on the steel grate both for maintenance as well as safety
reasons. We are greatly in debt to Bob for his ability, his time,
and a lot of his own money that was put toward ‘The
Frustrater.’ Thanks, Bob, for a job well done. You are truly a
dedicated club member.

Oh yes, in case you are still wondering, yours truly did try it,
but I was chicken and waited until after the show when only Bob
Peck and Bob Steele were watching. Yes, I did balance our John
Deere unstyled B the first time up. Boy did I get a swelled head,
only to have it deflated on the next try. It was beginner’s
luck I guess, as all other times I tried I had to move the tractor
two or three times to balance. I didn’t think I could do it or
that I would enjoy it, but it is a challenge and to my surprise I
had almost an hour of pure fun that afternoon. I urge anyone who
can drive a tractor to come and get ‘frustrated.’ It is

I read articles in GEM about shows all over the country. I
thought perhaps you would enjoy hearing a little bit about ours.
The Mohawk Valley Power of the Past’s Show is one of the first
of the year in New York State. In its ten year history, it has
always been held on the first full weekend in June, making the 1995
show Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 2,3, and 4. Anyone can come
in on Thursday to set up if they wish.

We feature a ‘dish-to-pass’ supper on Friday night. All
members, exhibitors, vendors, and their families are welcome to
bring a dish and join in. You can browse through our flea market
and crafts or enjoy good food served on the grounds all weekend,
featuring ‘Bob’s Famous Pancake Breakfast’ which starts
at 7:00 a.m. Of course the ‘coffee and bull’ session begins
at 6:00 a.m. or before. The famous ‘Limburger Club’ usually
holds meetings both Friday and Saturday. Any ‘cheese
connoisseur’ may join this club. Their aroma has earned them a
meeting place just outside in the fresh air! Some members, like
Charles Dygert, bring their leftovers to eat on their pancakes the
next morning. We have free admission, parking and primitive camping
(with flush toilets, but no hook-ups). A brass plaque, ribbon and
button are given to all exhibitors. Activities include tractor,
truck and antique car parades, Baker fan, tractor games, and
various entertainment all weekend. Saturday, we feature a donation
and consignment auction and an antique tractor pull with trophies.
There is a chicken barbeque on Sunday. Thanks to our exhibitors we
have a fine show of tractors, engines, and working exhibits. This
year we plan to feature antique radios and land plows as well.

Our show is held on the Fireman’s Field, Westmoreland, New
York, Rt #233, mile off the New York Thruway, exit #32. For more
information call Bob Steele at (607) 263-5085, or write to me at
the above address.

Everyone has a good time at our shows as we try to make it
family fun. We wish to extend an invitation to all. Hope to see you
there either trying your skill, or watching ‘The
Frustrater’ in action!

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