'Red Power' on Parade

| January/February 1993

3203 Norton Road Radnor, Ohio 43066

At the 1992 Marion County Steam and Gas Engine Society's Show, held June 18-21 on the Marion County Fairgrounds in Marion, Ohio, there was an air of anticipation during the first days. The morning hours were a rush with exhibitors registering, as the last of the concessions moved into place and the flea marketers laid out their wares. The sounds of a few sputtering gas engines and tractors grew into a crescendo of many and the scents of gas, oil and coal smoke mixed into a heady accent on the summer air. As displays grew and grew, there was the feeling that something special just might happen, and it did.

At the Thursday evening tractor pull, just after the first contestant completed his pull, Don Willson walked to the center of the pulling track and stopped the show. He called Troy Scott and Martha Deyo up before the crowd. Troy is the young man who organizes the Society's tractor pulls and Martha was Troy's fiance. Don announced to the surprised couple that they were to be united in mock marriage on the spot.

Doris Gregg, the mock minister, performed the ceremony, dressed in a flowing black robe and holding the book of 150 Years of International Harvester (the Bible of the IHC collector.) This turn of events was especially humiliating for Troy, who is a dyed-in-the-wool John Deere collector. It was a mirthful prelude to Troy and Martha's actual wedding, which was to take place a week later.

At the Saturday night tractor pull David Gregg, an avid IH collector and show organizer of the IHC displays, was cajoled into pulling a John Deere and won the class, much to his chagrin. David will need a little time to live that down. The Marion group enjoys good natured fun and a good laugh, but even more, they enjoy hosting special collector groups that bring in fine collections like the one the International Harvester Collectors brought to the Marion show.

The infield was a busy place as the Society's fifteenth annual show, held yearly over Father's Day weekend, got underway. The north end was completely filled with the International Harvester Collectors' displays. At least 296 IH or related tractors were on display. Add to this display 150 or more of the Society members' tractors, and to that, gas engines and various antique harvesting equipment; visitors had to get busy because they had a lot of looking to do.