Four years ago, Don Arndt, owner of Don's TV Sales and Service in Adrian, Missouri, started the ball rolling for the Western Missouri Antique Tractor and Machinery Association to have annual tractor shows and pulls. (With a name like that, it had to turn out to be a success!)
This year, July 23, 24 and 25, the fourth annual show was held at the City Park, one half mile east of Adrian, Missouri.
Perry Rexroad, president of WMAT&MA reports that there were over one hundred entries in the show including gas and steam engines, antique tractors and cars, miniature models of steam engines, Baker fan, threshing machines, hay balers, saw mill, binder and other displays.
The threshing machine and baling machine, set up by George Delameter and Bill Browning of Lee's Summit, Missouri, was a special treat to many attending the show.
Seeing farm families, (and sometimes city families) bring in their old tractors to have fun pulling in a contest, one is reminded that no where but in America would people sit out in the scorching hot sun, choke on thick gray dust, and snap cloudy pictures of men, women and young people hooking up to a steel sled and picking up one man after another until the tractor can no longer pull the weight.
But the crowds are growing at these events. The coveted trophies are cherished and given places of prominence when carried home.
There are things to enjoy other than the tractor pull. Taking a stroll around the park can be a real education. Antique cars are being dusted and shined, caressed and stroked, watched and guarded. These antique cars ranged from a 1925 Model T Ford to a 1963 restored Buick.
The Parade of Power is open to anyone who wishes to show his particular piece of equipment. This part of the show is very popular and may last for some time, depending on the number who wish to participate.
Drawn by a crowd, one might have to wait in line to see Allen Smith's model Case, his Aultman Taylor wooden separator and the Aultman Taylor thirty-sixty gas engine. All are built quarter scale, very detailed and exactly like the original piece of equipment. Allen is from Girard, Kansas. Although he receives no remuneration for showing these models, he gets a great deal of satisfaction out of explaining all about it to curious observers. He started building the Case in 1956. He finished the three projects in 1979. His son Luther, and grandson, Sheldon, take interest in Allen's projects and were along to help with the showing. They received Best Miniature Steam award.
In recent weeks the Western Missouri Antique Tractor and Machinery Association has leased twenty five acres from the city of Adrian. They have plans to make this into an ideal showplace with camping facilities, (a long range goal), buildings for displays, tracks for pulling, areas for entertainment and other things. A country schoolhouse has been given them. They plan to make a museum of it, displaying antique machinery and tools.
Who knows when the next show rolls around, much of this may already be accomplished. These are a group of real workers. They cooperate with each other. They volunteer help when it is needed. They are eager to see their own grounds transformed into the greatest show area in the midwest.
They will do it, too. The last four years have proved that.