Oh, What A Show!

| February/March 1996

The ground breaking ceremony

Standing behind cake from the ground breaking ceremony, from left: Pat Ingalls, vice president; Lorrie Getman, secretary; John Krizan, treasurer; and Fred Krizan, president.

Ingalls 64958 M-43 Highway Bangor, Michigan 49013

That was the general comment heard by weary workers who rubbed sore feet and massaged tired muscles, as the last exhibitor drove out of the new show grounds of the Van Buren Flywheelers Antique Engine and Tractor Club, after their 12th annual show held last September in South Haven, Michigan. V. B. F. had purchased the parcel of land in late April and dedicated members had spent many long hours all summer, preparing for the very first show there.

It was a big decision to make this purchase, and many members didn't think we would be able to be ready for a show by September but really, there wasn't much of a choice. The alternative was to have no show. The land was undeveloped, but had several things going for it level, sandy soil, a fair amount of trees, and an unzoned town ship! A Building and Grounds Committee was quickly formed and a plan was created. Of course, everyone had their own ideas of what was needed the most, but the committee worked together to develop a priority list.

First on the agenda was the planting of pine and autumn olive trees that had been donated by a local nursery. The local Boy Scout troop from Bangor was contacted for this job, and on a bright and beautiful weekend in April, the scouts, with the help of a tractor and tree planter (and parents of course!) planted a total of 3,400 trees in designated rows in what were to be the parking lot and flea market areas. Soon afterwards, a portion of the gravel drive way was put in with the help of local contractors.

Members, meanwhile, had been working hard to secure donations from local businesses and a membership drive had been started offering 10, 15 or Lifetime V. B. F. memberships with the monies from this being put in the Building and Grounds Fund. Then in May, a consignment auction was held which also raised money for the development of the grounds. Response from area residents was overwhelming. Not only had many brought items to be sold for consignment, many items were donated entirely to the club.

As if this wasn't keeping everyone busy enough, crews were back on the land making roadways and what would soon be parking areas for our exhibitors. Many of the nearby residents would often stop by wondering what was being built. And even after being told, most had to have explained what an antique engine and tractor show was!