Amador County Fair

| November/December 1975

Tinkering with one of his engines

Mike Dune

Publicist P. O. Box 26 Plymouth, CA 95669

R. L. Bottimore tinkering with one of his engines, one of the larger models exhibited at the fair

Someone forgot to tell the bright little mechanical men that they were supposed to be put out to pasture, abandoned to the California sun, black widow nests and the corrosive rust of winter rains.

But there they were, some 200 ancient gasoline engines, whirling, popping and trembling in excited, if seemingly pointless, agitation. They spun and coughed aimlessly, no longer pumping water from Mother Lode gold mines or into San Joaquin Valley irrigation ditches.

The pumping and grinding and baling and sawing that they once did is now being done by more economical and efficient electric motors and modernized engines.

But they continue to spin and sputter and backfire, reeking of gasoline and oil, spitting gray mists of exhaust which nonetheless cannot hide their shiny new coats of orange and blue and green and yellow paint.