Fred Townsend's Centaur garden tractor.
From 'Rust Bucket Ramblings', newsletter of Rio Grande Valley Old Farm Equipment Club. Submitted by Marvin S. Baker, 712 La Vista, McAllen, Texas 78501.
On Saturday, December 8, 1990, a brilliant sun, pleasant temperature, and no clouds nor wind provided the setting for the ten o'clock debut of the first Fred's Down On The Farm Museum Show, 400 N. Taylor, McAllen, Texas (free admission). A constant crowd persisted until the 4 p.m. closing. Viewers were from all parts of our country and Mexico (winter visitors and locals). Folks came to see and talk about antique farm machinery.
This included a multitude of stationary engines, a large variety of horse drawn equipment (the Avery 12 inch sulky plow could be one of the finest in existence), a gaggle of old tractors (the 1918 Crossmotor Case drew lots of attention), and Lloyd Van Rees' ? scale Case steam tractor belted to a fodder chopper. When the pop-off valve released, lots of folks were startled!!
Occasionally, Lloyd would signal with his steam whistle. Usually he'd get a response from Alfred's air horn powered by a Model A Ford engine compressor, and a sick 'o-o-oo-gah from a 1928 1 ton IHC truck.
Inside the concession building approximately a thousand antique pieces (vacuum cleaner, irons, washing machines, looms, wrenches, razors, watches, scythe grinders, animal clippers, coffee grinders, looms, etc.) were on display. Cold drinks, coffee, home baked goods, and sausages wrapped with tortillas were vended by club members.
The grounds and layout were immaculate. Safety lines were in place and honored. This is one of the finest crowds I've ever observed. There was no littering. Oldsters were helping the youngsters operate the hand operated equipment (corn shellers, grinders, etc.). Probably they'll never meet again, nor do they know each other by name, but there will always be the mutual memories to soften the waning years and give strength for the long years ahead.
This was one of the three shows sanctioned by the Rio Grande Valley Old Farm Equipment Club. The other shows are C.K. Koelle's Two Banger Museum Show, February 23, 24, 1991, 6? miles north of Shary Road, Mission, Texas and the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show, March 13-17, 1991, Mercedes, Texas.