9l5 N. Dehmel Saginaw, Michigan 48601.
For 12 years I have attended tractor shows with my husband Brian. A few years ago we got our first motor home so we could start to display some of our engines and tractors.
Brian (current president) joined the Thumb Area Old Engine and Tractor Association. The men like to show and display their tractors, engines and other things, as well as do things like threshing and baling. The men had plenty of things to do, but all the women were allowed to help with or do was work the front gate when people came in. A few of the other wives and I decided that we also need something to do as well.
So, we started an auxiliary. We currently take care of the arts and crafts area as well as the flea market area, and we also do a pedal pull for the kids, but we still wanted to do more. Last year at our 17th annual show, Sue Keene and I came up with the idea of doing the threshing on Sunday afternoon. We had seen this being done at other shows, so why not at our show?
We talked it over with Brian and Harley Volts (the oldest member of the club who repairs and takes care of the thresher), and a few other men to see how they felt. Harley said he thought it would be okay; a few of the other men didn't like it, but they agreed to let us do it anyway.
When we first started we asked what we could do. They forgot to tell us to let the thresher get up to speed before we started to pitch the bundles. We found out fast that we had to wait-a belt jumped off. After that we did okay.
This year Sue and I wanted to do the threshing again. This time we didn't get as many funny looks, but we did get the comment 'They can't finish the half wagon of wheat that's left.' When we got going good with a rhythm, Brian threw the clutch on the tractor that was running the thresher, but we yelled a little and we were allowed to finish the wagon of wheat. I know this doesn't sound that great, but when the bundles of wheat were bound together the binder didn't bind all of the bundles, so a lot of our load had to be picked up and put in by hand, or they fell apart as we pitched them into the thresher. When we finished, Harley was the only one who told us that we did a good job and thanked us. I guess all that's left for us to know is to also do the baling that's done after our penny hunt in the straw. So if you are looking for something to see that's a little different at the Thumb Area Old Engine and Tractor show, come and see us thresh and maybe we will even try the baling.