The Show By The Side Of The Road

| September/October 1989

Photos by Bradley B. Ware. Submitted by Bradley B. Ware, President, Texas Early Day Tractor and Engine Association, Rt. 3, Box 211, Killeen, Texas 76542.

Even the best made plans sometimes have to be changed at the last minute. The Texas Early Day Tractor and Gas Engine Association found that out on October 1 and 2 when they met in Speegleville, Texas, to hold their 17th Annual State Show.

The gathering was to be held on leased acreage, just as in past years. The larger pieces of equipment had been moved in earlier in the week, along with tents, display booths and all the paraphernalia that go along with accommodating over 6,000 guests for the weekend. What was not planned was the almost five inches of rain that fell the night before the festivities were to begin. The field became a quagmire. Add to this the presence of several tornadoes in the area and the organizers' visions of the perfect show were quickly going down the drain.

Thanks to Calvin Buice, a club member who lives in Speegleville, the show was saved. He graciously offered his large building and land, and the show was held as planned, with continuous adjustments to accommodate changing conditions. Demonstrations and concessions were erected inside the metal building and the antique pieces were displayed along each side of the road. About 2,000 visitors came out to visit the 'show by the side of the road'.

One of the happy results of the miserable conditions was the hay rides pulled by antique tractors which carried the folks back and forth the half mile from the temporary show site to the place where the larger pieces of equipment were bogged down. Even though threshing was not possible, the visitors were able to view the large threshers, along with the larger tractors, engines,  and syrup press. Many of the spectators enjoyed the hay ride as much as looking at the equipment, so next year's show will include hay rides just for the fun of it.

Members Doug Landry and Bill Schramm received numerous compliments on the fine restorations of their tractors while pulling the trailers for the hay rides.