A Brief Word

| October/November 1995

Ye olden Reflector has recently returned from Antique Power land at Brooks, Oregon. On July 29 & 30 they put on their show, along with the National Meeting of Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association. We were delighted with the show ... there were lots of engines and tractors on hand which we had never seen before! Of particular interest to this writer was the big three-cylinder, 80 HP, Fairbanks-Morse Type R engine. It was belted to a big centrifugal pump, and was an impressive sight, in addition to providing some beautiful stack music.

Many other fine engines were present, including a Mery, a Regan, a Woodpecker, and others too numerous to name. Models abounded, but we were especially taken by John Palmer's Oil Pull model, built completely from scratch except for the magneto and spark plugs.

All the talks were very kind to us, and this was greatly appreciated. We made a lot of new acquaintances, and also renewed many old friendships. Also of mention were the large selection of tractors, many of them being one-of-a-kind, or at least, very rare.

On Saturday evening, July 29, the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association held their Annual Meeting. Among other things, safety and insurance considerations were discussed. As an interested observer, the point came across loud and clear that safety at the shows is becoming an ever increasing concern. For instance, we noted that many of the engine displays were surrounded by two ropes or twines, one at about 1 feet, and the second at about 3 feet high, ostensibly to keep little tykes from blundering into an operating display.

What with today's society, hell bent on lawsuits, we came away with even more conviction that it is imperative to police your own area, and allow others into your display only with your permission. We suggest keeping your displays far enough away from the fence so that spectators don't wildly wave their fingers about and get them entangled in the mechanisms. Keep fuel cans out of harm's way, and keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Another point of discussion was the matter of having a clean-up kit handy in case of a fuel or oil spill. Government regulations (and regulators) are getting more intent on setting an example, and we'd hope that none of you are the recipients of their regulatory balderdash. However, to be on the safe side, we'd suggest that you try to avoid fuel or oil spills, and if this should happen, that you clean it up before there's a problem.