1713 E. Walnut Street Enid, Oklahoma 73701-3637
It was October 1, 1994, that the area old iron enthusiasts had their 10th anniversary gathering of the iron at the Garfield County Fairgrounds at Enid, Oklahoma. Once more the weather cooperated and gave us a great day for the show. It has been many years now since our gathering has had to go to the shelter, but who is complaining.
Enid Antique Power is an unofficial organization of the area old iron enthusiasts. We don't have meetings and we don't pay any dues to belong to a club of sorts. We do, however, accept any donations that come our way. Our mailing list at this time is at 129. We include members of the local Model T Ford club in our show and have a number of them on our mailing list. Our show isn't widely advertised because of the cost involved, but we have a large number of visitors nonetheless. The members of our unofficial club are a close knit group and most of the guys and gals know one another; with this being the last gathering of the year for most of us, it is treated as a good-bye reunion until next spring. The traditional beans and cornbread and dessert were served at the noon hour for the exhibitors. This has been a popular tradition and is expected to continue even though it is a lot of work for a number of the exhibitors' wives who do the serving and preparing. To everyone's surprise, John Holden was brought down from Blackwell, Oklahoma, for the beans and cornbread by a friend of his, Lewis Clonts of Blackwell. We are looking for his return next year.
Just like the big three and five day shows, we have a variety of exhibits. We are short of the steam tractors and the threshing machine, but we have the small engines, from the Briggs and Stratton washing machine engines of Jeffrey Blakley to a large Bessemer oil field engine owned by Marlin and Dean Unruh. A large number of farm tractors are represented along with the old cars and trucks, lawn mowers and Cushman motor scooters. A good share of 'home builts' show up, like the high wheeler that Ralph and Lizzie Miller bring in from Wellington, Kansas. A rare and unusual tractor for this area is a 1923 Fordson with tracks called The Track-son Full-Crawler owned by Cleo Phil-brick of Enid, Oklahoma. He purchased this tractor in Arizona and hauled it home for play and exhibiting at shows. The tractor is in very good condition and starts and runs with little effort for a Fordson. Next year it is hoped there will be a newly restored 1924 Fordson agricultural tractor to sit beside it. In the automobile category there was Phil Bur-ford and his 1916 Ford Speedster. He drove it up from Waukomis, Oklahoma, and had the misfortune of having some wiring get a little hot during the course of the show. With the durability of the old Ford cars, he just did some switching around and kept on going. Try doing ' that on a modern automobile.
In the afternoon our one annual meeting was held and the drawing was accomplished for the prizes to be given out. The drawing was taken from the entry forms. Also during this meeting the King of Old Iron Award is given out. This year it was given to a well-deserving fellow from Moore, Oklahoma, Frank King. Due to health problems, he was unable to make it to the show and the award plaque was sent to him. Most people in the area old iron communities know Frank and his Putt-Putt with the John Deere engine and the air-conditioned cab. He has been very active in past years going to shows in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. He attended a show at Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry called the Pikes Peak Antique Machinery Days in June 1991.
A question that is sometimes heard at the shows across the country is, 'Are there enough younger people getting into the old tractor and engine hobby to keep it alive?' It seems that a large share of the people involved with the old iron are in their 50s and above. There are four young fellows involved with the old stuff that are part of the local buffs. They are Jeffrey Blakely, Ryan Koehn, Eric Koehn, and James Vorderland-wehr.
Jeffrey Blakley is 15 years of age and in the 9th grade at Emerson Junior High School in Enid, Oklahoma. Jeffrey has Briggs and Stratton, Maytag and a 4 HP Cushman to take care of and take to the shows with his grandpa George Oiler. George Oiler played a large part in getting Jeffrey started in old iron. George and Mary Oiler would take him along to as many shows as he could make it to. Jeffrey started out on an old riding lawn mower that George had made into a tractor for him to ride around the show grounds, as soon as he could handle it. Jeffrey is presently looking to be an engineer of some kind at this time. He isn't sure what kind of engineer.
Ryan Koehn and his brother Eric Koehn are from Ringwood, Oklahoma. Ryan is 18 years of age and attends Ringwood High School and Eric is 14 and attends Ringwood Junior High School. Ryan and Eric work together on several engines to keep them running. Two of their engines are a 1912 10 HP Stover Model Uanda 19181 HP Stover Model V. They have 11 engines at last count, and all are coming along for restored status and exhibiting at the local shows. Ryan says the whole family is pretty much antique oriented. They also have old tractors in the family. Ryan at the present time has an interest in the auto body field and prospects of being an oil field engine mechanic, while Eric is interested in farming or getting into the junk business. There is big money to be made in the junk business.
James Vorderlandwehr, a 20 year old in May 1995, is currently enrolled in the OSU Tech School at Okmulgee, Oklahoma. He is studying to be a Ford mechanic, now working with the Ford dealer at Okarchie, Oklahoma, and going to school at Okmulgee. James has engines such as Clinton, Briggs and Stratton, Maytag, Fairbanks, and Economy. He has a C Case tractor he is rather proud of and has hopes of restoring a W-30 McCormick-Deering someday. James also has pretty much grown up around the old stuff. With his grandparents Kenneth and Mary Fiegel and his own father Phil, he has been around the old iron all his life and is very familiar with all aspects of it.
The leadership of Enid Antique Power is changing once more. R. D. Corley of Enid, Oklahoma, was one of the original founders of the show along with George Oiler of Enid. Last year he turned over his duties to Ron Shulz of Enid. The operation of the show and those who receive all the complaints are Harold Cooper, Richard Vogt and now Ron Shulz, all of Enid. These three are by no means the only ones who take part in the operation of the show. The names of the helpers who put on the show are too numerous to mention. All help is greatly appreciated and, if it weren't for all the exhibitors, there wouldn't even be a show.
Another show is planned for October 7, 1995. We will look for another good weather day and hope everything turns out well for all who attend.