California Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association 1972 Show Report


| May/June 1973



Fairbanks-Morse Engine

Donald G. Beach

2734 Chaffee Street, National City, California 92050

The Third Annual Spring Show of the California EDGE&T Association is now but a memory. But what a memory! On June 17th the Santee Lakes Festival got under way with a parade, a Queen, the bands playing, and Boy Scouts marching -- also Merle Shipley, our septugenarian steam buff, blowing the whistle on the steamer. Yours truly sat up a couple of nights the week previously and gave the old John Deere a fresh coat of paint and decals, and was rewarded with a spot in the parade pulling a float. The float was carrying a 1922 baby Cletrac owned by new member Pat Stanzione and his wife of Chula Vista. Considerable interest was expressed both in the parade and at the Gas Engine show in the tractor display. Perhaps a separate report in other issue would be justified on this subject. Also fit subjects for special reports were the Early Day Kitchen and the Early Day Blacksmith Shop.

It was difficult to obtain an accurate count of the actual numbers of engines, equipment and people participating and those who were spectators. I counted 128 gas engines, 43 pieces of other equipment, 14 tractors and three special displays. I could have missed some, as from time to time I was distracted from the counting procedure by well-wishers, friends and spectators who seemed to yearn to learn more about these strange bits of the past which were so noisily making themselves also a bit of the present. Someone who was knowledgeable estimated by Sunday noon about four thousand had passed by and viewed the corn shelling, wood sawing, hay cutting and water pumping which was going on continuously. Tractor rides were a major attraction also, with many (8 or 10 at a time) getting a ride about the area on the float pulled by a John Deere, and driven by a succession of old tractor buffs who like the smell of burning kerosene and hot oil.

No report would be complete without mention of the people involved in the action. The accompanying pictures will assist in this, but some mention would be in order for those who labored to make this show the huge success it was.

Jack and Barbara Arbuckle contributed so much to the pre-show arrangements that words are scarcely adequate to bring the kind of attention they deserve. National dinner meeting reservations, motel accommodations, relay of messages, and even preparing a very nice water pumping display were some of the accomplishments of this fine couple. I noted their son, Bill, camera in hand, shooting footage during the show, so I am hopeful that we may have some professional-type 16mm film to view in the future.

Jim Gibson, our over-worked and under-paid treasurer was so busy in the days preceding the show that he barely got his own engine display to running.