Tom Rohrich, slow tractor slow race winner, displays his ribbon at last summer's Georgetown, Ohio show.
2277 Berry Road, Amelia, Ohio 45102.
Knowing I am interested in machinery and the way tasks were done years ago, my brother-in-law mentioned in August, 1971, that there was a machinery show in Georgetown, Ohio. Unknown to me at the time was how, as time progressed, this antique machinery show would become more important and even the highlight of the year in my life. It was important not only to me, but to many other people, as the history of the machinery shows that have sprung up all over the country since then testifies.
Many people are like myself: if there is going to be a great gathering of people, I go the other way. You do not feel comfortable in crowds, do not trust the association of people you do not know. It seems there are people out in this world who are bent to do other people harm. But I was pleasantly surprised to find the atmosphere congenial, friendly, and even helpful-just the opposite of my expectations.
If there were any trouble, you would not have known it because the directors of the show just will not permit troublemakers or problems to interfere with the reunion and the enjoyment of everyone there.
At the last reunion, a fellow telephoned from Wasilla, Alaska, about six weeks in advance and wanted to make arrangements for a space. He had some stationary engines for sale and some just to show. Well, you can't please everyone but the directors sure try. The directors told him to 'come on down'! They fixed him up with a space in such a way he could show his engines off and still be able to sell his wood carvings and engines.
He told me he thought the Ohio Valley Antique Machinery Show was the friendliest gathering he had been to; he really enjoyed himself. He said one day he had to leave his engines and carvings unattended for a short time and when he came back he noticed someone had taken one of his carvings while he was gone and put the money under one of the other carvings. What a group of people to be around! I met up with him at another show. He said he would be back next year and that the Georgetown Show was the most friendly experience of all the gatherings he's been to.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words; this picture of Tom Rohrich says it all. He had just won the tractor slow race and is just proud as punch doing so, but look at the fellows in the background, they just lost and they are having the time of their lives. That's the spirit in all the events, have fun with your machines.
I told a fellow I would sure like to drive a Fordson Model F and experience the history under me. He said, 'I'll fix you right up.' He had me taking my first test drive of a Fordson Model F tractor!
One unique feature of the Ohio Valley Antique Machinery Show is there is so much to see and do to enjoy your tractor.
There is the 1920 Bucyrus Steam Shovel in working condition, one of the very few left. You might say it's the mascot or symbol of the organization. Thanks to the donated unselfish efforts of past directors and people wanting to preserve part of the past for us and for future generations, this machine exists and so does the show.
There is a dynamometer for belt pulley or power-take-off so you can test your tractor to see if it is putting out its full potential of horsepower. There is a sanctioned tractor pull and, beginning in 1991, a sled to practice with all three days. An egg-cracking contest is held, as well as a slow race, a teeter-totter, and of course you can always give your tractor a workout on the sawmill, shingle mill, rock crusher, thresher and on and on it goes.
This past year we tried something new, a tractor tug-o-war which was very successful, and we will be doing this again in 1991. If you try it, do not put steel wheels against steel wheels, it is unsafe.
And of course the parade. Georgetown opens the doors of hospitality to the reunion. One of the highlights of the show is the opening parade through Georgetown. The town shuts down and everyone comes out to see the past and present farming heritage pass before their eyes. There is an organized parade every day in front of the grandstand in which a person can sit and see and hear the history about each and every machine passing before him.
If you need to find parts or sell parts, buy or sell a tractor, there is a trading post where you can purchase or sell, or wait for the auction on Sunday. Work it out anyway you want.
There are vendors with hard-to-get parts, books, etc., out in the flea market area. Hopefully this next year the parts vendors and tractor aftermarket supplies will be more centralized to the trading post. But items you want are out there. I purchased a hard-to-find diesel head and injection pump, very reasonably priced.
You'll see a great variety of tractors from a Bungartz to a Farmaster and the history of these tractors you learn from their owners is just fantastic. What these fellows have to go through to preserve those unusual tractors! You say you've never heard of nor seen a Farmaster tractor before? I haven't either and no one else has, so you can imagine the difficulty this fellow had in restoring it.
This example is a diesel and the pump was bad, he went to great lengths and expense to bring the machine back to life. He did a beautiful job, well done.
An example of many, many tractors at the show that are too numerous to mention. The featured tractor makes this year were the Rumely Oil Pull and Allis Chalmers family. There were 20 Rumely Oil Pulls from 1912 Model E to 1928 20-30, and 38 Allis Chalmers from a 1923 Model E to a 1960 D14.
One of the founding fathers of the show, Ed Fiscos, was there with his first shown and rare Model E Rumely Oil Pull.
The young people and people with newer tractors are encouraged to participate. Of course that is the life-blood of the antique or collector tractor experience.
The price of scrap has been up for a couple of years now. We are losing our restorable, usable tractors very quickly to scrap. If we do not encourage the younger people and people with the newer tractors to get involved these shows could die out with us. An example and link with the past would be gone forever. So it is encouraging to see so many young people involved in the reunion.
Come visit the friendly show next August. If you can't, at least help make your local show a friendly show.