Buckeye Bluegrass Revue and Gas Engines, Too!

By Staff
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Gary Sandve from St. David, Ariz., brought his 1936 3 HP Economy
hooked up to a five gallon country ice cream freezer.

Dale Parker likes old gas engines. He likes bluegrass music too,
and that’s why this past March he once again hosted the 7th
Annual Buckeye Bluegrass Revue at his Eagle Mountain Ranch in
Buckeye, Ariz. It doesn’t take much to get engine collectors
excited about displaying their favorite engines, and with the
sounds of The Colorado River Boys, the Hat Band, and others, I
swear those one-lungers kept perfect rhythm with the banjo, bass,
mandolin, fiddle, and guitar music all weekend long.

Arizona’s old engine collectors pretty much go wherever the
opportunity arises in order to start up their prized engines, and
the Bluegrass Revue was no exception. Fellow collectors from as far
away as Washington, Oregon and Montana joined in for two days of
fun. And do they make a festival out it. Barbecue beef, coleslaw
and beans, Texas sheet cake, and more – they feed you as though you
were family, and insist you stay for seconds.

Gary Sandve from St. David, Ariz., brought his 1936 3 HP Economy
hooked up to a five gallon country ice cream freezer, as well as
his 1928 Maytag washing machine and engine combined.

And George O’Day wouldn’t think of going to a show
without taking his little Sampson rock crusher, circa 1900. His
canine companion, Mitzie, long used to the sounds of the rock being
ground and spewed out, sat patiently nearby. George always shows
off two or three unfamiliar farm implements with a sign nearby that
says, ‘Know what these are?’

Buster Brown from Yuma, a hot air motor enthusiast, brought
along his Ericsson, originally a wood burner, manufactured by the
Rider Engine Company in 1907. The old motor was used on the Wrigley
Ranch near Phoenix to pump water. It can pump 500 gallons of water
per hour on just four pounds of coal (Buster uses propane) at 85
RPM – very efficient.

Dea Gruel’s braiding/string machine, circa 1894-98,
originally made military braid for uniforms at a factory in
Massachusetts.

Dean Axtell from southern Oregon showed up with his Bessemer 2
HP, 2-cycle, manufactured in Detroit, Mich., around 1907. He floats
water-filled plastic jugs in the tank so he has hot water for his
trailer!

Sam Curry from Sedona showed off his Stover CT-2, 1- 2 HP,
manufactured by Armstrong, Blum Company, Chicago, while Walt Miller
from Apache Junction brought along his Taylor vacuum engine with an
attached cream separator. This little 1- HP engine was manufactured
in Elgin, Ill., in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Stanberry
Brothers from Buckeye had a dandy Foos Type J that ran like a song,
and Gene DeCamp from Cottonwood brought along a 3- HP National
hot-tube or igniter ignition, made in England. The copper tank was
polished to a T!

The granddaddy of them all was a 40 HP Class AJ, made by Bovaird
& Seyfang Manufacturing Company, Bradford, Pa., and used in the
oil fields of New York. It chunked and swayed, keeping time to the
bluegrass music in the distance, often spewing circular puffs of
steam like a smoker with a fine cigar. Nick Poncelet and Steve
Skyberg from Montana brought this behemoth to the show and planned
to circulate it at other events in Arizona during the winter of
2001. The April 2001 GEM featured this engine in an article by
Russell L. Farmer.

This 40 HP Class AJ, made by Bovaird & Seyfang Manufacturing
Company, Bradford, Pa., and originally used in the oil fields of
New York, was brought from Montana by Nick Poncelet and Steve
Skyberg. They plan to circulate it at other events in Arizona
during the winter of 2001. The April 2001 GEM featured this engine
in an article by Russell L. Farmer.

My favorite was Dea Gruel’s braiding/string machine, circa
1894-1898, manufactured by the New England Butt Company in
Providence, R.I. Used in a Massachusetts factory years ago, it made
military braid for uniforms. Water was originally used to provide
power. Setup with 16 spools, eight of which turn clockwise and
eight counterclockwise, it was fascinating to watch the threads
wind their pattern around a cord of cotton, fed off a spool at the
bottom of the machine. Was it ever popular! There was always a
group of folks around the display, eager to learn more about it.
And if you asked, Dea would cut off a sample of braid for you to
keep. She and husband Gary are long-time Buckeye residents, and
plan to show this off at many shows down the road. They’ll hook
up a throttle-governed engine to the machine – a good thing. I
watched as Dea turned the handle over and over again, and it’s
a blister maker.

To the tune of ‘Get in Line, Brother’ and
‘Mother’s Grave,’ the engines made themselves known,
attracting lots of attention as they ‘popped’ to the music.
And with the pie-by-the-slice booth, Arizona Jack’s beef jerky,
kettle corn, and ‘Turquoise by the Ton,’ the Buckeye
Bluegrass Revue once again provided locals and visitors the
treasured opportunity to listen to ‘power from the past,’
visit about days gone by, and make plans for next year’s
show.

It’s uncertain where the show will be in 2002 – Dale has
turned the Revue over to the Buckeye Chamber of Commerce and
Buckeye Main Street Coalition, hoping they’ll allow the
festival to grow and improve at a faster rate. One thing’s for
certain, the old engines need to be part of this exciting weekend.
After all, what’s bluegrass without the Johnny-Popper’s
background beat?

Contact Carolyn Giger at 9712 NW 31st Avenue, Vancouver WA
98665

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