Collectors Help Each Other

By Staff

Kansas 67053

This last summer, I had decided to take the once in a lifetime
gas engine trip and see many of the fine people who I had talked to
on the phone about gas engines and see many of the fine collections
on the east coast which I had long wanted to do. I had made all the
arrangements and had lined up where we would be each day. We were
to take in the Owls Head, Maine auction and stop at Kinzers and go
up into northeastern Canada and the whole bit.

Well, I decided to take the whole family and do it up right and
take the kids to places they had never seen before around
Washington, D.C., etc. We started out great, however the second
morning we had a wreck when my wife hit a concrete bridge on the
Interstate. We were very fortunate that no one was hurt. However
the truck was a different story. If it hadn’t been for some
very fine gas engine friends we would have had to junk the truck
out and come back home on the train.

Here is a tribute to Dave and Anita Boomgarten that my wife
wrote about our experiences surrounding the wreck. This goes to
show what fine people the Gas Engine Bunch are.

We were on the second day of our long awaited vacation. This was
one vacation we had planned each detail of where to stay and what
we would do on a daily basis. We had even made motel reservations
ahead of time which was very unusual for us, but we wanted to make
sure that this trip to Canada and New England would go very
smoothly. Jerry had called ahead to several of his engine buddies
to meet them and see their engines. Kansas always seems so far away
from the East coast so we had referred to this as a ‘once in a
lifetime trip,’ and the excitement had built as the steam
builds up in the boilers of our 40 and 65 HP Case steam
engines.

Today we were on the Illinois I-55 highway headed toward Goshen,
Indiana. Jerry and our three girls were all asleep as I wheeled our
Club Cab G.M.C. down the smooth fourlane. At about 1 miles out of
Chenoa, Illinois, the unfortunate happened. I lost control of our
one-ton pickup and hit a bridge. Dreading to see the results of
what could have been a devastating accident, I found we had stopped
right-side-up in the ditch. When I looked around to see if any
other vehicles had been hit or people hurt, I said a prayer of
Thanksgiving that no other cars or people had been involved. After
checking to see that no one in my pickup had even received a
scratch, we all got out to see the damage our truck had received.
Jerry saw that the rear end of the ‘Jimmy’ was lying on the
pavement. We knew at that point the vehicle we were driving would
need a great deal of repair before we could ever drive it again. As
we waited for the police to come, we looked at the map to see if
there was anyone we could possibly call on for a place to stay
until repairs could be found. Our destination in Indiana was too
far away to be of any help.

Words can hardly express the feeling one has sitting out on an
Interstate with three children, your understanding husband and
‘shook up’ you trying to figure out what to do next. Relief
for being so lucky, anger that you have interrupted your fantasy
vacation come true and fear of wondering when you will ever see
Kansas again, all criss-cross tight ribbons around your heart as
you wait. And then a hopeful sigh from Jerry. ‘You know Dave
Boomgarten who was at our house this spring to see our engines? He
lives in Chatsworth, Illinois and it’s only 20 or 30 miles from
here.’ By that time the police had come to check out our
accident and it was decided that we would go into Chenoa and give
Dave and his wife Anita a call from there.

In several hours Dave had come with his pickup to take Jerry
into a larger town to get parts for our truck. Anita had brought
her two little girls. Sara and newborn Rachel, to take me and my
three girls back to their house at Chatsworth. Never did we realize
that we would come on Tuesday and be at Boomgartens ’til
Friday. Anita fed us delicious meals. Their four-year-old Sara was
like a sister to our 4- and 7-year old girls. Dave made numerous
phone calls and drove miles to help find parts for our very
specialized G.M.C. The hospitality they showed us helped turn a
very negative, depressing turn of events into one that helped us
learn again the many blessings that come from good people and
friends. We feel like we will never be able to repay them for all
their kindness. Even though we were not able to go on with our
vacation, our trip back to Kansas was much easier because of Dave
and Anita Boomgarten, who we learned to know through our common
interest in old gas engines.

Many times I have gotten disgusted with the mention of buying
another one of those heavy old gas engines; yet I must admit that
we have found some very friendly people as we go from show to show.
It’s amazing how many folks we have learned to know and
appreciate through our interest in gas engines. We wish to
especially salute Dave and Anita Boomgarten of Chatsworth, for
being special people.

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