Summer Trip Out West


| April/May 1998



Mark with sons Dominic

Mark with sons Dominic and Kyle at Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska.

172 N. Cascade Drive, Springville, New York 14141

This is a short story of the trip I took last summer with my family my wife Mary and our sons Dominic, 9, and Kyle, 6.

Our first stop was at the Henry Ford Museum where we saw steam traction engines, many of which are rare and I had never seen before. There were gas tractors, gas engines, farming machinery and all sorts of early American historical items on display. We also toured the Greenfield Village that consists of many historic early American buildings. We rode the steam train which circles the village and we had a busy fun-filled day.

Our next stop was in South Dakota where we toured the Corn Palace that's decorated with real corn; the Badlands; Wall Drug, which is a tourist town; Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills; and then to Devil's Tower, in Wyoming.

From there we traveled to Billings. Mary kept asking why we were going to Billings and I kept telling her, 'Just so you can say you've been there.' When we got to Billings and stopped at the Travelers Information, Mary saw the brochure for Oscar's Dreamland, she looked at me and asked, 'This is why we came here?' All I could do was smile.

At Oscar's Dreamland, we saw all the treasures that Oscar Cooke, who passed away in 1995, had collected. Over 400 rare tractors and many various types of early farming machinery. Oscar's son-in-law told me that the museum is for sale and the collection may have to be auctioned off. This is certainly the best antique farm equipment collection in the world. It's a real treat.