Pottsville Panic

| May/June 1991

250 Robinson Road Cave Junction, Oregon 97523

For two months he had attended all the weekly 'planning meetings.' On the mantle sits the clock, speeding up, faster, faster! And now, finally, the night before the opening day of the 5th annual show at Pottsville in southern Oregon...not enough time! Gulping down his supper, he started out to the workshop, only to have his wife remind him that he had an important call to make. A few more minutes of the clock ticking away. But time well spent, as he had to call his good buddy to remind him to bring that extra carb part to Pottsville. Then out to the shop.

His bright and newly painted tractor stood tall and proud on the trailer, backed into the garage overnight, with the pickup sitting out in the weather, giving one more night's protection to the almost-still-wet paint job. The four neatly painted hit & miss engines-blue, red, green, and yellow-were sitting eagerly in each corner of the trailer, all anchored down for a safe trip. Suddenly, his eyes were riveted to a growing puddle of oil, dribbling down from dead center under the tractor. Oh no! 'I don't have time, I leave for Pottsville at 4:00 a.m. It can't be happening to me.'

A sickly feeling in his stomach pulsated to where he thought for a moment he might have to heave his supper. But' swallowing it down, he grabbed his toolbox, placed a large pan underneath the tractor and proceeded to undo the small casting from where the oil was leaking. As the bolts came off and the plate dropped, only a trickle dripped into the pan. Thank heavens for that! Just a crimped gasket carelessly installed. He replaced the gasket, tightened up the bolts, and great! No more leakage.

Will it still fire on the first turn of the crank? Will it run smoothly when he gets to Pottsville? Temptation weakened him and he had to crank it over, with the engine dropping into a gentle purr. It's running, all ready for Pottsville!

His attention was next given to the red engine in the left rear corner of the trailer. Not that one again! He'd worked on it time and again in order to have it perfect for Pottsville. He nudges the nut a little tighter, the small gas leak drips a few more times, then stops.