1997 Trip to the USA

| February/March 1998


37 Seaham Street Holmesville 2286, Australia

After my doctor told me some major ironwork was called for on my knees, I decided that I had better bring forward the U.S. trip that was quietly fermenting in the back of my brain.

After the wonderful time I had three years ago (GEM May '95) I wanted to see a few shows this time, as well as see old and new friends. To cut the planning stage short, what was to be a four week trip turned into eight! It could have been longer, too, but my wife Marg reckoned that I would be gone too long as it was. Grass grows, etc, etc. The time chosen would allow me to take in five shows, so tickets were bought and all the letters sent out to people to visit.

After being awake for thirty hours and three plane trips, I arrived at Dayton, Ohio, airport at 6:00 p.m. on August 19 and was met by John Burns, who took me to his home where I was made most welcome by Becky, his wife. A night's sleep and it was off to the Portland, Indiana, show.

At this point I must say that, although I had heard that this was a big show, nothing could have prepared me for the sight that I was faced with! Over three thousand show engines. I can't guess at the tractor numbers, and of the Swap meet Section words fail me! Over the next few days I bought lots of stuff I couldn't live without, met with Jim Cross, Charlie Morse, and so many other great engine folks that there isn't enough room to mention them all. Saw so many new (to me) engines and models that the camera ran hot, and my voice dried up from talking and laughing. A truly wonderful engine show.