65 Wallace Road Coldwater, Mississippi 38618
The Mississippi Valley Flywheelers Spring Show was held April 23-25, 1998 at Joe Brigance Park in Houston, Mississippi. A good location for a show, with more water/electric camper hook ups for participants than I expected and large flat paved RV non-hookup parking for overflow and non-participants. Since the show set-up starts on Thursday, there is a bit more visiting and sharing time for us enthusiasts. It was worth a couple of vacation days to me, but the bulk of participants arrived Friday. The Saturday show end allows for getting home without guilt of leaving early on Sunday.
Garden tractors were well represented, and garden tractor pulls for both kids and older kids (HA!) were much enjoyed. I did not spy any other Vintage Garden Tractor Club of America (VGTCOA) yellow caps though.
Victor Ferguson brought a Standard Twin on steel and cleats he'd just acquired after twenty years of pursuit. Victor got the machine running during the show and caught lots of eyes as the steel wheels chewed up the sandy clay dirt road in the display area. It really sounded sweet.
Gas Engine Magazine May 1998 issue with a nice article on Minneapolis walking tractor companies histories, including Standard brand, was fresh in mind.
This was my family's second show as participants. After attending our local Sardis, Mississippi, annual October show for several years with kids going from stroller to now six and seven years, I was getting less and less time to gawk. Last fall we participated in the 8th annual show (the second year on dedicated new showground which is nice and close to I-55), with the Planet Jr. 1949 model BP-1 that I'd grown up cursing at in the garden (while making sure Mama didn't hear). The BP-1 was much easier to load than my tired but trusty John Deere MT. Taking our newly acquired camper trailer as well, we all enjoyed the camaraderie and atmosphere in comfort. The kids were looking forward to the Houston Show, even though their 1964 model Toro rider wouldn't start at the last minute.
At the Houston Show we acquired two more Planet Jr. walking tractors of Tuffy and HB models.
The Tuffy is a rusty, rusty 1952 model with some cute cultivators and a mold-board turning plow that were the same as the low wheel push wheel hoe (manual, yuck!), as well as a set of discs about six inches in diameter in two gangs of three. My six-year-old son fell in love with this piece of rusty iron. So what do you say but 'yes,' and let him 'negotiate.' So now we're looking for Tuffy and/or Super Tuffy goodies. The original 1952 Tuffy tires look like they were lifted straight from the Flexible Flyer kids wagon production line. Definitely not traction tires. The 1953 Super Tuffys have a tractor style bar tread but still the semi-pneumatic style.
My seven-year-old daughter promptly adopted the 1944 (?) Model HB, on excellent original rubber. This one had been shed stored, little used, still in good shape and ran pretty well. We particularly like the 'steerable' handle linkage on this walker and look forward to a riding dolly to try out for parades. Plus we got a five gallon bucket full of plow points as well as discs and a tool bar with guide wheels. Also got a couple of nice original manuals dated 1944 and catalogs with the HB too. Getting to drive the HB around the grounds occasionally pleased both my kids and proud me.
Use It For
AND A PORTABLE POWER SOURCE
Duane Tharp of Sardis Antique Engine and Tractor Show had his Chore-master and riding dolly along. Single wheel tractors get attention, and after all, Duane is so shy. He's currently restoring a Dandy Boy by Midland Walking Tractor.
'Old Boy's Toys' was one very nice gentleman's trailer logo. He'd just snapped up a different Chore master with cultivator after a long search. His 90-year-plus mother still travels with him and his Mrs. in their motor home. I expect to see these two ladies riding in style behind his latest toy at future shows.
Another helpful gentleman had a nice IH garden tractor with a Crosley engine. It had a smooth sound, but that single exhaust stack did talk in the pulls. His flatbed trailer also helped move around stuff for show folks and for fellow participants.
If anyone wants a Crosley engine for a garden tractor, Jack Rudolph had two at this show. One was even in a stationary engine frame setup.
My David Bradley has no wheels. Never did, either. It is a David Bradley Bulldog chainsaw that I also hated, as it weighed about as much as the shrimp of a kid I started out. TOUGH is the only word for its construction. During the winter of '72, when I was home from USAF on leave, a tree fell wrong and smashed it out of sight into surface frozen ground. (The previous night it was 15 degrees or so, here in north Mississippi.) After silently cheering its demise, I dug it out for Daddy to find only the bar damaged! The float style carb's finicky nature and dislike of any position other than shop floor level was the saw's weakness and major frustration.
At this Houston show, one gentleman had an engine whose air cleaner grabbed my attention as it is the same brown cylindrical, porous, exposed element as the saw. The heavy duty aluminum castings were the same 'look' and quality as well. His engine was a Power Products but that was all left readable on its tag. Anyone have info on Power Products or the saw?
I've purchased another BP-1 with sickle mower to use in restoring our original BP-1 and add the sickle bar mower to the breaking plow, disc and cultivator tool collection. We have to pick up this tractor on our family vacation to Ohio this July.
All three of these additions to my Planet Jr. collection are the result of my GEM classified ad. I'm still looking for Planet Jr. stuff, sources, and info.
We planned this vacation to allow visiting the Historical Engine Society's 28th annual Antique Power and Steam Exhibition at Burton, Ohio (Cleveland area). The Lawn and Garden Tractor Club of Ohio will be displaying there as a club. Maybe I'll see some of my fellow VGTCOA at this show.
My wife virtually dragged me to my first antique engine and tractor show and has become quite supportive. She has okayed a flywheel engine (within reason) for future. You're right that I am lucky. She too likes the nice people showing and attending.
At this Houston, Mississippi, Show I had an empty cardboard box from an engine shipment sitting on the front area of our hauling trailer. My wife got a kick watching people peek inside. She observed that show attendees have to be about as curious as us participants.