A Brief Word

| September/October 1997

We're working right up to our dead -line this month, having just returned from the second Ageless Iron Expo at Ankeny, Iowa. There were some nice engines on hand, although this show is primarily a tractor show vis-a-vis a gas engine show. Included was a nicely restored Armstrong as made at Waterloo, Iowa. There was also a nicely restored New Holland side-crank engine owned by Louis Tuller at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

So far as tractors are concerned, they were there by the hundreds, and perhaps into the thousands, but we don't have the figures yet. In addition to the common models, there were a great many classics, with the majority being nicely restored. Don Skidmore of Knob Noster, Missouri, brought his Waterloo Bronco; these are rarely found anywhere. Except for a very cool northwest wind, the weather was perfect!

We caught glimpses of the parades and the tractor pulls, and wish we could have seen more of the activities. Judy Whiteside from GEM, along with husband Ken, operated the Stem gas book stand; they were set up alongside Don Knowles from Engineers & Engines. All in all, it was a most enjoyable event, and we hope that Successful Farming Magazine will sponsor the Ageless Iron Expo in another couple of years.

After a couple of days at Ankeny, Iowa, and the Ageless Iron show, we went back home to Amana for the Two-Cylinder Expo, just a half mile from our house. There were hundreds of John Deere and Waterloo Boy tractors and implements on display, along with large crowds. On Saturday (July 5) they had their auction, but we were unable to attend, and do not have any indication of the prices realized.

While at Ankeny and at the Amana show, many folks asked us about our 1998 tour to Germany and Austria. We're working on it right now, and hopefully we'll be able to provide further information, perhaps in the next issue of GEM. One thing is certain...we will limit the tour to two coaches, or a total entourage of about 80 people. With the small hotels and restaurants generally found in Europe (outside of the big cities, which we try to avoid) it's very difficult to accommodate more than that number...the logistics sometimes make one pull their hair out! Besides, with one or two coaches, people have a better chance to interact, and after all, that's fully half the trip...the fun and the fellowship!

By the way, several people asked us whether we'll be repeating the same tour to Germany as we did two years ago. The answer is that except for our first stop, which is Porten's Old Tractor Museum, we'll be covering all new ground. For those of you who've been to see Roland Porten, this stop is well worth a return visit.