| March/April 1983

  • Bob Pitcher, iron work at blacksmith and tool exhibit'
    Bob Pitcher doing a little iron work at his blacksmith and tool exhibit.
  • Dudley Diebold's Oil Pull
    Dudley Diebold's Oil Pull.
  • Fairbanks-Morse
    Restored Fairbanks-Morse on rebuilt baggage wagon owned and restored by Bob Pitcher (standing) and Rob Current.
  • Bob, Jim, Rob discussing an important issue'
    Bob Pitcher, Jim Hine, Rob Current discussing an important issue.

  • Bob Pitcher, iron work at blacksmith and tool exhibit'
  • Dudley Diebold's Oil Pull
  • Fairbanks-Morse
  • Bob, Jim, Rob discussing an important issue'

47 Clinton Avenue Westport, Connecticut 06880

A. Sega and Sons donated their time, and lowbed trailer to move in some of the heavier equipment and on Friday, June 4, members arrived at the Water Witch Hose Company firehouse to join the sponsoring firemen in picking up the fencing and delivering it to the lot. By the time school let out, all the equipment was waiting on the road to be brought into the lot.

Stakes were put up for the exhibit areas and the perimeter was ringed with snow fencing with openings for the new main gate (built by Fred Dahl, Walt Pitchard and Bob Pitcher), exhibitors entrance, and a quick escape provided in case the sponsors had a callup. Portable toilets arrived and the weatherman predicted showers for Saturday and clearing on Sunday. Some trailers arrived and some of the steam equipment came in. Jim Hine arrived with his shingle mill and several loads of wood were brought in for use in the various saws and splitters. The exhibitors gate was setup by Ralph and Wander Waters; the food stand was in place and several loads of engines came in. Response for the flea market space was good and all advertisement was out with a good crowd expected.

Many of our members slept with anxious dreams and awoke early Saturday to the sound of rain. Upon arriving early at the lot, boilers were checked and fired up, engines brought in line and started, machinery secured and aligned, and new exhibits rolled in. Dudley Diebold brought in his Rumely Oil Pull and prepared to belt it to the shingle mill, and Charlie and Fran Doty brought over our new concession stand for the sale of books and merchandise.

The rain continued and tarps were put over the steam roller canopy and held up at the ends with tent poles, making a large tent with a boiler in the middle and many people huddling under. Another group of people crowded into the food tent, drinking coffee and thinking about wet feet. The rain persisted all day and the forecast for Sunday changed from clearing to 'more rain-heavy at times.'

We were committed by this time and went home Saturday night to dry off and get some rest. Skies on Sunday morning were overcast and at times the sun came out. Flea marketeers arrived and set up; Starbolt Engine Suppliers and Lee Pederson set up and new exhibitors started arriving. Tarps were taken off and folded up, engines started, boilers fired up and by 12:30 it was raining again. It rained all afternoon and at times the downpour was tremendous. We began to hear stories of road washouts and of flooding, but were more concerned with our own wetness and the lack of the crowd we had hoped for. The Fire Department had prepared a good breakfast for us, but by mid-afternoon we knew the whole weekend was a washout.


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