3314 Duff Avenue, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001
It all started in 1995 after I retired from a career in the United States Air Force. I now find myself as a professional driving instructor for CR England (the big red trucks out on the highway). However, while in the Air Force being transferred from Wyoming to Florida and back to Wyoming, I made some wonderful friends. Some are in the South, West and in the Midwest where I grew up. I return there every summer for the show at the Coolsprings Power Museum in Coolsprings, Pennsylvania, and the Tri-State Show in Portland, Indiana. Both of these shows are where I got to know some of the big collectors around the country.
Having a job as a truck driver, I travel around the country where I may have a little time on my hands. I have teamed or been an instructor since I have been with CR England, so I can move across the country in two or three days. So whenever I pick up a load that may give me some extra time, I pull out the map and see who I might know along the route I would be on, and give them a call to see if we could get together and talk about their iron.
Most of the time my loads are going to the East Coast. CR England is out of Salt Lake City, Utah, so I can leave Utah and run to Coolsprings, Pennsylvania, in about 30 hours. When I leave the company on a Friday and do not have to deliver out on the East Coast until Monday, my student and I would put the hammer down (trucker talk for not stopping for anything but fuel and nature call breaks) and be in Coolsprings, Pennsylvania, Saturday afternoon. That would give me a day working on something at the museum, (picture 1) like the 25 HP Lima engine from the Lima Gas Engine Works, Ohio, (picture 2).
Dr. Paul Harvey, co-founder of the museum, moved the Lima engine to Coolsprings some 25 years ago where it just sits needing lots of work. God willing, and the creek not rising again causing a flood, it will be running at the 1999 summer show. Dr. Paul has been very hospitable to me and my co-drivers, opening up his home to us when we are able to stop and work. Thanks, Doc!!!
Not only has Coolsprings been a stopping point, but the engine guys all over the country have welcomed me in to see their collections, like Ed Laginess of Monroe, Michigan. Here you can see all three Cam stoppers sitting in a row Columbus, Calahan and Field-Brundage. Plus his beautiful 15 HP Miami from the Middletown Machine Company, (picture 3) Then there is Stiles Bradley of Pavilion, New York, where you can see five Springfields from Springfield, Ohio, and the rest of his fine collection including his 4 HP Springfield, (picture 4) Next there is Anton Affentianger of Bakersfield, California, and his wonderful collection of Unions; and the rest of his California collection, which includes a Samson, (picture 5), Western, Mink, Frisco Standard's, and a Regan.
There is also Greg Prskopchuk of Paso Robles, California, and his collection of California engines including his nice original Regan (picture 6). Charlie Parish's Ag Museum in Merced, California, has an 8 HP Frisco Standard from the Standard Gas Engine Company, California, (picture 7) and a Doke built in California (picture 8). Here is where I found my 25 HP Special Electric Foos gas engine (picture 9 &. 10). Thanks again, Charlie!!! Also, here is where you can see the Springfield that the man with the hacksaw got mad at (picture 11). It belongs to Buzz Stetler of Stockton, California, who also prides his California collection with three Golden Gate engines.
Then there is Dick Leureault of S. Hadley Massachusetts, where you can see two 25 HP Columbus engines and right now the restoration of Doc Harvey's 80 HP Miller gas engine from the Miller Improved Gas Engine Company. Nathan Lillibridge of Voluntown, Connecticut, has one nice collection of big engines. Anyone who has ever been to Nate's will know what I'm talking about. And my good friend John Rex of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, has a real nice collection of English engines. Without John my 25 HP Foos might not have made it to the Foos Fever show at Coolsprings in 1997. Thanks, John!!
And last of all, the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in the summer of 1996, where I even talked my way into their storage building (boy you talk about a lot of iron, they've got it!!) And just think, I have seen all of this stuff and been to all of these places and it has not cost me a dime!! That is why I have the best job in the country.
So, if you ever see the big red England truck with the Coolspring's license plate on the grill pulling a Christopher Ranch trailer filled with garlic from Gilroy, California, (picture 12), stay out of the way. I might be on my way to see one of my buddies to talk about iron. But, give me a honk on the way by! Don't try to get hold of me, my address is 51492 Big Red Truck, Anywhere USA, (the Post Office can't keep up)!!