Box 24, Bluff City, AR 71722. Photos by Max Gunnels of Magnolia, AR 71753.
Rusty Wheels members have been quite busy the last several years completing two major projects. First, an 85 HP Bessemer engine used during the 1920's for cotton ginning was donated to the club by Mr. and Mrs. John Burke and Mrs. Gilbert (mother of Mrs. Burke), all of Hope. Second, a structure had to be built to house the historical antique engine. Hope's Fair Park was selected as the construction site. The engine would serve as an unusual exhibit at the annual Hope Watermelon Festival and Rusty Wheels Annual Engine Show.
After all the long hours, weekends, mad wives, near divorces, thousands of miles of travel and 100-degree weather in the Hope area, satisfaction finally came. The 1987 Hope show proved to be the best ever with the Bessemer running and the building virtually completed. There were 112 engines, four tractors, a hay baler, two grist mills, and two Model T Fords on display. Guests arrived early from Greenville, South Carolina, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Linden, Texas. Arcadia, Louisiana and Nashville, Tennessee were represented as 'first timers.' The tall, shady loblolly pines proved to be very comforting with the typical August weather.
We wish to thank all those who traveled from near and far to attend our regular shows-the Jonquil Festival at Old Washington, Arkansas in March; Hope Watermelon Festival at Hope, Arkansas in August; Forest Williams Show in Cabot, Arkansas in September; and the Heber Springs Arts and Crafts Festival at Heber Springs, Arkansas in October.
A special thanks goes to the Joe Freeman family for their help in the reassembly and the startup of the Bessemer engine. The old engine runs perfectly thanks to their fine tuning and adjustments. Also, thanks to Erwin Kretzschmar of Floresville, Texas, for letting us get a photocopy of the manual for the Bessemer engine. The building was completed quicker with the help of several non-members and people interested in our projects.
Interesting observations on some of our members:
O. C. Scroggins baled the same hay for three days at the Hope show and still has the same number of bales he arrived with. O. C.'s home videos at shows proved to be very interesting.
Glen Scroggins' cold drink sales were the best ever with the little F/M 'D' taking only minor breaks for refueling. See July 1987 issue for Glen's equipment.
Jim Ingram always brings his unrestored, not-for-sale collection of engines to the Hope show. Other club members say he starts them once a year whether they need it or not.
Don Shilling, our club president, took time off from flying to start up two engines he purchased at Waukee, Iowa.
Max Gunnels, a one-year member, only intended to buy one small engine-he now has five restored, running engines.
Forest Williams (owner of Miss Smoke Rings) has a new design on a Model A Ford that Henry Ford didn't think of.
A. J. Scott continued to collect bargain engines at Waukee to store in his backyard.
Paul Best is selling off his extra Stovers to Duane Hutchinson, who is assembling quite a collection of igniter type hit-and-miss engines.
Earl Henry has trapped a mongoose that has its own private cage.
The ladies love to check it out.
Willard and Henry Wilks continue to restore engines to perfection. Their engines start early in the morning and-run until late in the afternoon.
Bud Kelso is still acquiring Maytag engines and accessories. He won best display at Forest Williams' show.
C. E. Perry finally showed his engines this year. Everyone enjoyed seeing the Foos Jr. run.
Oren Robertson had decided to show strictly the miniature steam engines and his recently restored Model T. He travels the most miles to attend our shows.
Rick Horton completed his tenth Williams Grist Mill restoration.
Come and enjoy the fun grown men have with their toys. We always have engines that need expert advice on tuning and repair.