| January/February 1971

Dayton Daily News & Radio's 'Joe's Journal'

Spark Pluggers from five states throughout the midwest and beyond congregated in one mighty horde at Portland, Indiana -- there to wind up their antique gas engines, tractors and classic coupes, thence to sort of un-wind their winding arms while basking in the pollution thereof.

Some twelve-thousand strong crashed the gates at the Jay County Fairgrounds to waddle reminiscently 'mongst the four-hundred eleven popping and banging gas engines while creaking, centipede-like tractors of yesteryear clattered and groaned at flopping leather belts hitched to sawmills and separators at the other end.

'WOW -- is this a show!' exclaimed one lanky, long-legged lad from down Ol' Kaintucky-way as he set foot on Jay County soil and proceeded to survey the melee'. 'So much here I won't ever get to see it all.'

But being the biggest antique gas engine tractor show in the midwest was not the only goal sought by the director-and planners of the Tri-State Association. For along with the vast outlay of internal combustion assemblage of yesteryear there were the many other associated exhibits of educational value, all reflecting a golden age of American ingenuity and inventiveness just past.

While brawny arms heaved on heavy flywheels and yanked on cranks to set antiquated pistons into motion, sawing lumber, threshing wheat and grinding meal, others hawked and demonstrated their wares of early Americana to the evident curiosity and satisfaction of all. Against the steady background din of internal combustion four-cycle, two-cycle hit-and-miss or what-have-you exhaustings, there could be heard the more refined whirr of the ancient spinning wheel, the ticking of antique watches and the raucous blare of old-time radio squawking from vintage horns of the early twenties while agile fingers plucked romantic ditties from the strings of out-dated autoharps exhibited nearby.