The Little Things

The Smiths Know How to Live the Good Life

| November 2005


Mike Clemens, Tyler Clemens, Perry Smith, Austin Smith (in red) and Chandler Clemens (in yellow).

Like many of you, I hear concerns about the lack of young people in the hobby and at the shows. You wonder, "Where are all the kids?" and "What will the future hold for the hobby?" I ask myself the same questions from time to time.

The Smith family of Alleman, Iowa, however, helped set my mind at ease while at the 2005 Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

It all started when a man stopped by our booth with three young boys and made small talk with some of my co-workers. The man and boys were on their way back to their spot on the show grounds when I just happened to stop by our booth. Very enthusiastically, my co-workers pointed and said, "Hey Jason, you'd better go catch that guy - his sons have 25 engines!" I replied, "They have 25 engines, or their dad has 25 engines?" "No, they're theirs, and they were over here talking about magnetos and flywheels and I don't know what else, but they knew what they were talking about!" Needless to say, I caught up to them with a quickness.

Boys and Their Toys ...

When I caught up to them, the father introduced himself as Perry Smith, and introduced the boys as his sons, Chandler, 11, and Austin, 9, and a friend of theirs, Tyler Clemens, 11. While I was interviewing Perry, all three boys were busy oiling things, gassing up the engines, shelling corn, even starting their little Maytags. It was refreshing to see these boys crawling all over the engines with such enthusiasm - and getting their hands dirty in the process.

For this year's show, the Smiths brought a 1-1/2 HP Galloway, 2 HP ARCO/Economy (see Hercules En-gine News, ), 3 HP Galloway, 6 HP Economy, 7 HP Galloway, 2 HP air-cooled Associated and a pair of 1-1/2 HP John Deeres.

Perry confirmed that the engines - all 25 of them - do in fact belong to the kids, and range from 1-1/2 to 7 HP. The Smiths also own seven tractors, 12 Maytags and a lot of other miscellaneous farm equipment, some of which was at the show in the form of a pump jack, corn sheller, bone grinder, hack saw, David Bradley and no. 5 Stover feed grinders, and more.