BIG BERTHA


| September/October 1981



Crane operator

Route 1, Box 78, Coon Valley, Wisconsin 54623

Posing with his pride and joy when it finally got to oar yard. Left to right: Crane operator, Donny Greene, my husband, Carlyle and semi driver, Willy Bakkestuen.

What a wife has to go through when her husband is a gas engine nut! It didn't take me long after we were married to learn I had to either leave him or join him in his hobby. After 137 gas engines, 8 light plants (Heavy-Heavy), 5 tractors, stone crushers, and everything else that goes along with this hobby, you can guess that I decided to join him in this endeavor. It's amazing how the good times outnumber all the greasy clothes, smashed fingers, back aches, pulled chest muscles and headaches that seem to go along with this hobby.

The following is the story of how we acquired and brought home just one of my husband's pride and joys. We call her Big Bertha. (I really don't know how it became a her.) Just how my husband gets all the 'hot tips' about an engine stuck in the mud here or one sitting in a shed rusting away over there is beyond me.

Big Bertha is a 25 horse power Fairbanks-Morse diesel engine. It's the biggest one in my husband's collection. Big Bertha weighs 6,000 pounds. The glow plug has to be heated by blow torches before the flywheels can be turned.

After many trips and phone calls to New Hartford, Minnesota, not to mention the dickering, my husband finally purchased Big Bertha. It didn't take long after that to get the wheels in motion in order to get Bertha to her new resting spot.