| July/August 1967

11400 Broadway Alden, New York 14004

On October 30, 1966 a gas-up was held by Kenneth Roloff and Donald Weisbeck members of the Pioneer Gas Engine Association at Don's place in Alden N.Y. This was the first such affairs ever held in this area and it sure created a bit of news. Alden is or was a farming community but is now being built up as a residential area. The affair was held at the rear of Don's home and Gasoline Station. The people would pull in for gasoline or service and hear the sound of the old Engines and ask what in the world that noise was; well Ted Beirig, operator of the station, would tell them to pull around the building and see, which they did. Some just sit in their cars and look but most would get out and look around. We had the old TIFFIN Cider Mill in operation. Many children and adults as well enjoyed the sweet cider as it flowed from the press. The day was clear and cold but pleasant. The cold weather created a problem that some of us forgot and that was that these old engines don't start and run as good in cold as in warm weather. Ken's big Lazier a 6 HP beauty ran very well on the cutting box but when corn was fed into the machine the engine would miss fire and die but that big Lazier is in perfect condition and when it warmed up a little she went to work as only these old reliables do. The 4 HP New Way ran very well on the cider mill but it was inside the building. Don's Ottowa Drag saw was in operation. I (Don) purchased this machine about six years ago, it was still in the crate and had never been sold or used, it was manufactured about 1922.

A John Deere GP tractor, year 1923 and buzz saw, which Don Weisbeck found in a junk yard and later reconditioned. Here, Gordon and Don Weisbeck are manning the saw and John is operating the tractor.

At the cider press, made by the Tiffin Wagon Company at the turn of the century and used in West Alden until 1940, are Don Weisbeck and Bud Wahl. It is powered by a New Way gas engine made in Lansing, Michigan between 1914 and 1917. This is operated by John Weisbeck.

We also had the John Deere model GP belted to a buzz saw. A total of twenty one pieces (engines & equipment) were shown and operated. About 65 persons were present. Many more just stopped and looked but did not get out of their cars.

Ken Roloff and I agreed this little gas-up was a grand success as everyone present seemed to enjoy themselves. I will always remember this first affair with pleasure, but sadness struck me and my family the next day. On Oct. 31, we had to take my father to the hospital; Dad never returned. He passed away on December 6th, 1966. Yet Dad milked his cows on Oct. 30 the day of the Gas-Up. I would like to write a few lines about my father in his memory. Dad was a dedicated farmer and feed mill operator. Dad was typical of a small American farmer, he was typical of the people who in my opinion, and I do not stand a-lone in this opinion, of the people who really backed our leaders of this country when they needed help. In times of trouble and wars these men did not head for the big shops and bigger money jobs. They kept right on farming. They plowed a little longer furrow to up their production and feed the country and other countries if necessary. The only compensation they received was a little better market for their products. In times when the shops were not paying so well or hiring so fast and the part timers returned to the land these dedicated men seldom complained of the poor market prices. They would merely experiment to grow a better quality of produce. They were busy and happy. How else did this country become the best fed and the most desirable place on earth to live? Men like Dad had many friends. I have 5 brothers and 3 sisters. We never had much money to spend but we were always happy. I consider ourselves very rich. When Dad was laid out at the funeral parlor, he had over a thousand persons visit him. Now in my book if you have that many friends on earth at age 74, you will have that many more in the next world. You can bet your boots those pearly gates will be wide open for you and believe me you are rich.


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