JOE LOPES, SR., of Lemoore, California, passed away suddenly in
mid-December 1997. Joe was many things husband, parent, church
member, club member, and friend. Joe is survived by his wife of
over fifty years, four daughters and a son.
Joe and his son, Stan, were very active in restoring and
displaying antique engines in the central California area.
I remember the first time I met Joe. He and Stan were showing
their equipment at the Tulare Farm Show in February of 1991. I was
amazed at Joe’s ingenuity and expertise in building his
displays. Little did I realize at that time we’d become good
friends and fellow club members. Joe was a charter member of the
San Joaquin Valley Antique Flywheelers (EDGE&TA Branch 63).
My respect for Joe grew over years. He was always ready to lend
a helping hand no matter what the task. Joe, always an eager
participant in our events, loved to share his knowledge of his
hobby. He is missed by all who knew him.
Submitted by Vince Smith, San Joaquin Valley Antique
Flywheelers, North Fork, California.
ORRIN MICHNA was a man of the earth. He farmed all of his
working life on the same farm he was born on. He was a gentle
jovial man who always had a twinkle in his eye. He and his wife
Margaret were retired and they enjoyed gardening, eating out, rides
in the farm country and weekly polka dances. Their home was across
the road from the farm. The road was named Michna Road after his
family. They had no children but had many nieces, nephews, and lots
of good friends.
For the past 15 years, I was his friend, neighbor, and finder of
lost engines. We spent many long hours in the truck traveling all
over, looking at engines and tractors. He loved to go to auctions,
and would always call when there was old iron on the auction
His picture was in the June 1997 issue of GEM; he was one of the
guys who helped save a big 12 HP Associated engine. Orrin was one
of those ‘characters,’ a gentle man that everyone knew and
liked. We would load up our old iron and head to a show where Orrin
would sit and spin yarns about the old days and life on the farm.
When I had to make a parts run in the truck, Orrin would always
volunteer to ride shotgun. Those rides are a lot less fun now than
when my good buddy rode along.
On November 12, Orrin died after a battle with the effects of a
stroke. He was 81 years old. He was one of a kind. The engine guys
all miss him.
Submitted by Dennis Kornwolf, 7133 Michna Road, Racine,