The purpose of this column is to give recognition to some of the female gas engine enthusiasts around the country. These are the ladies who have crossed over to the other side. They are no longer just sending hubby Care packages of food to the workshop, or asking him to please move his 'junk' so that she might drive the car into the garage. These are the ladies who are now claiming items as their own, or playing some part in cleaning or restoring an engine-those who actually know a magneto when they see one.
Groups of these ladies can be found in the auxiliary of gas engine and tractor associations. Some have originally banded together out of boredom and later found that they play an important role in the success of the association.
The ladies of Rough and Tumble, in Kinzers, Pennsylvania, have helped almost since its beginning with collecting admissions and handling memberships. Only in the past three years have they organized into an auxiliary. Now they are in charge of the committees on admissions, membership, the gift shop, and the farm house. They provide meals for the men on the grounds for work days. Their members sell hand crafts and snacks during activity days. The group provides centerpieces and acts as hostesses during the annual banquet-meeting. They are invited to attend meetings of the Board of Directors. An auxiliary report is a regular feature in the association's newsletter, 'The Whistle.'
President of the Ladies Auxiliary, Mrs. Guy (Hazel) Stauffer crossed the line almost twenty years ago when she started traveling with her husband in search of gas engines. Guy is currently serving as Rough and Tumble's First Vice-President, after finishing three years as Treasurer.
Their engine expeditions have taken them to several provinces in Canada, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebeck, and Ontario. They have also gone on engine safaris in western Pennsylvania and Ohio. It was on one of these trips nearly two decades ago, that they purchased a Kowalsky hot-tube engine made in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It had been used to run a small printing press in Mars, Pennsylvania. This engine and a 6 HP Springfield were early members of their 183-engine collection, and are Hazel's favorites.
Hazel's attitude has always been, 'if you can't beat them, join them.' She knows where they found every engine, how much they paid for it, and how much they want for! Several years ago, Hazel received a rather unusual Mother's Day gift. It was a 6-foot tall flywheel from an English-made Ruston-Hornsby oil engine. She hopes to run their 1959 Allis Chalmers 'G' in R & T's parade this year. Hazel learned to drive this tractor to clear snow from the parking lot of her beauty shop in East Petersburg, Pennsylvania. Every auxiliary has their 'spark plugs' and Hazel Stauffer is certainly one in Kinzers.
You all probably know a female person who has been bitten by the 'engine bug.' Maybe you know an active auxiliary that could share some ideas through this column.
Please address all comments and information to: GEM, P.O. Box 328, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603.