| January/February 1970

Dayton Daily News & Radio's 'Joe's Journal'

Single and thirty years of age -- you could hardly call that old enough to be classified as an antique, if we were talking about a gas engine. But Spark Plug David Shearns of Marion, N. Y., all of thirty and as yet unhitched by beltpower to the 'brake-wheel' of man's severest testing -- matrimony -- is proving there are other thrills in life as great and rewarding as saying, 'I do' to a woman before a bald-headed preacher. (Sorry, Brother Elmer. Maybe the next guy.)

But, although Spark Plug David Shearns lives alone with his folks, minus the 'joys 'n jolts of connubial bliss,' -- the feminine touch to cook his morning oats, and or the tongue-lashing he could get every time he drags another engine home -- there are those inalienable rights enjoyed only by the single species of homo sapiens who go prowling the countryside in quest of antique gas tractors and engines.

Indeed, it was far more rewarding for Spark Plug Shearns to fetch home and introduce to his parents, a heap of conglomerate iron which once was known as a 30-60 Rumely Oil-Pull than had his latest bounty been merely a smiling bride. The difference being that man can bend and shape a piece of iron to his own liking -- a fact that has not always proven true concerning that unpredictable element in a man's life, known as woman. And, although it usually takes a lot more work to get an engine in shape -- before costs taper off and the fun begins -- a woman can get worse and the expenses spire skyward conversely once the honeymoon is over.

At any rate, wrestling with a 9-ton Rumely is much more predictable to Spark Plug Dave -- and after all his troubles of hauling, re-building and hoping, it was much more rewarding when he drove it over the grounds of the '69 Pioneer Gas Engine Assoc. Grounds than merely flashing a gold band on the fourth finger of his left hand.

'David Shearns is our nomination to a Spark Plug of the Month,' said Dorothy and Paul Smith who had fetched along some of their photos and facts about the tireless director of that show, which they handed to me while visiting the Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor reunion at Portland, Ind., this summer. 'We feel that David has done so much for our New York show that he deserves a niche in your Spark Plug Hall of Fame.' (And rightly so, we concur.)


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