Dalton, Minnesota, September, 1986: Jack Maple with a new addition to his tractor family-a 12-20 Rumely OilPull.
13 W. Plum St. Tipp City, Ohio 45371
Once again I had the opportunity to attend three threshing shows in Minnesota this year, and believe me, they were all fine shows and well worth attending. My son lives in Wyoming, Minnesota (a recent move from Minneapolis), so it makes a nice base to start from to visit the shows.
The first show we attended was LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association, and that was my first time at that show. The weather was a little breezy, a drizzling rain, and on the cool side-in fact, a jacket felt real good.
There were many displays of all types of equipment, and most all were in operation. There were many tractors of all types, but the 'Minneapolis line' seemed to fill more of the rows.
The main building, as I will call it, had many interesting items of days gone by-old time wares that were used in the pioneer kitchens, old farming tools (both horse drawn and hand operated), old dress clothes, and many other numerous items. The show grounds were beautiful, with many large trees, and gas engines running under them. In fact, with all the activity going on you didn't have time to notice the cool weather. After my son and I completed another round of taking in the sights, it was getting along toward evening and we decided that we should be getting along. But before we left, we paid a visit to the shingle mill, and here we picked up a couple of shingles. No, we didn't get them to patch a roof, but rather to find a place on the wall to remind us of a wonderful show we had been to.
As time was flying by, the following weekend was upon us, and it was time to head up to Rollag to take in the W.M.S.T.R. Only this time we made arrangements ahead of time in Fargo, North Dakota to make sure that we had a place to stay. With that out of the way, it was clear sailing to take in a show of 'the big ones.'
This time we had better weather, except on Sunday, when it really poured down rain for awhile. Everyone started for the building down by the railroad track, and soon it was pretty well filled with people seeking shelter from the rain. It wasn't hard to strike up a conversation, with so many people there, and the main topic-well, you guessed it-the weather. I have been to this show twice now, and both times I couldn't help but be amazed at those huge tractors and gas engines, and all running too. This time up I had the good fortune to meet Mrs. Briden, the secretary of the show; Mr. Merlyr Meyer, president; Mr. Darvin Jahnke of the Gas Engine Committee, and this I had been looking forward to. Speaking of meeting people, I met again my friend Jack Maple and his wife Hazel. So we just kinda picked up where we left off last year, only adding 'in between shows' experiences that had developed.
Another 'first' for me this year was the driving of a big Case tractor in the parade. This was quite an experience, and is already logged into the memory book. All this activity really makes a man hungry, and with all the places to eat, and all of the varieties to pick from, it didn't take long for my son and me to satisfy our appetites.
With that, late afternoon was upon us, and time to make the long stretch home, back to Wyoming. This was a very beautiful drive, with awe inspiring scenery, so much that you dare not doze off, lest you miss it. Well, after a few days' rest and talking over where we had been and what we had seen, we were getting ready for the coming weekend to visit the Lake Region Pioneer Threshermen's Association, at Dalton, Minnesota.
Head up time came, and off we went. The morning greeted us with a thick fog, but after about an hour it had lifted, and the weather was clear and bright.
When we arrived at Dalton (another first for me) the weather was perfect for a show and you couldn't ask for a better day.
To me it seems that no matter what show you go to, there is something at each one of them that you haven't seen at another show before, and this is what makes it interesting. The one thing that caught my eye along with the 'stiff leg crane' and the big Wheelock stationary steam engine, was a steam engine built by the Northwest Thresher Company, of Stillwater, Minnesota. Since I have been doing some research on this steam engine, it was ironic that I actually got to see one 'in the iron', so to speak. That alone made the trip well worth it, as were all the other steam engines, gas engines, gas tractors, and all the other things that make any show worth while going to.
The pitcher's taking a rest while it gets its 'throat' cleared.
As my son and I were taking in the sights at the Dalton show, who did we see again-yep, it was Jack Maple standing right by his new addition to his Rumely family. That really brought a lot of converstaion from everyone who stopped by. You really don't have to worry about what to talk about at an engine show, as all the subjects are there.
Well, the hands on the clock were beginning to match the color of the late afternoon, a signal to my son and I that we should head out for home base. After making more new friends that day, and bidding our late afternoon goodbyes, we slowly departed knowing that our show visits were closing for the season.
I knew that in a couple of days I would be flying back to my home state of Ohio, and already my thoughts were on a show that I was sure going to attend in Cliffton, a little town not too far from where I live, but a big show that has really grown.
But while on the plane, my thoughts were on the shows my son and I had attended, the many things that we had seen and the many new friends we had made. These will be good memories, for I know memories are not like iron-they won't rust.
Well, the Cliffton show really turned out nice. I saw a lot of my old friends and really had a good time. But wait a minute-is that Jack Maple over there? Well, it sure is. Boy, he sure gets around-or is it vice-versa?