My Engine Buddy

| January/February 1997

  • R. H. 'Herschel'
    R. H. 'Herschel' McCann of Quincy, Ohio. My engine buddy.
  • Gage Homan and his buddy
    Gage Homan and his buddy, Hersch McCann, pulling his wagon at an engine show in Van Wert, Ohio.

  • R. H. 'Herschel'
  • Gage Homan and his buddy

429 W. High Street St. Mary's, Ohio 45885

We all love 'old iron.' We love those engines, their sound, their smell, even their feel and we all love engine shows. But the thing that really makes our hobby, the glue that holds an engine show together is the people! The people are the real pleasure of the hobby. The fun of owning an engine, the real value in running an engine or telling a story is the people we share the hobby with.

A few years ago, I wrote an article about a friend, Harry Rowe, who first introduced me to machinery, taught me to appreciate engines, and to love 'old iron.'

Now I want to tell you about another friend, a friend who travels to the engine shows with me. My 'Engine Buddy.'

I think Herschel McCann was born with an oil can in his hand. Since the time he was a young boy, he hung around the flour mills, operated water wheels and ran diesels that operated line shafts that ground the flour. During World War II, Hersch served in the Navy and was in charge of the 'Engine Gang' on a ship after taking General Motors schooling on diesel engines. He has always loved old engines and did, over the years, build a fine collection of old iron.

Since the early 1970s, Hersch and I have traveled together to gas and steam, shows all over the country. We've been to Portland, Wauseon, Rushville, Sistersville, Kinzer, Urbana and London, Darke County and even Mt. Pleasant.