Stormy Old Timers Day sin XENIA, OHIO

| December/January 2000

2821 Wilmington Road Lebanon, Ohio 45036

Old Timers Days were held September 22, 23, 24, 2000, in Ohio. The previous days had very nice fall weather with night temperatures in the low 50s and daytime temperatures of mid-70s. We have had lots of rain this year. The Cincinnati airport weather said we have had 35.51 inches of rain this 2000 year, which is above normal. The same weather station said we have had only three days of temperatures above 90 degrees. The weather sounded a little questionable for our reunion of tractor and engine enthusiasts.

I am a schoolteacher in Middletown, Ohio, which is about forty miles to the south and west of Xenia. After school on Wednesday, September 20, 2000, I drove home from school to Lebanon, Ohio. I already had my 1938 John Deere series E, l? HP engine, 1951 'LUC' John Deere combine engine, and 1979 John Deere 214 garden tractor loaded on my trailer. I hooked up the trailer to my Ford 150 pickup truck and drove twenty-three miles north to Xenia to Green County Fairgrounds.

The weather did not look too good- It rained most of the way to Xenia. I unloaded the tractor from the trailer and placed everything by a great big oak tree. My cousin, Jerry McCoy, pulled his red Dakota pickup truck along side of me under the big oak tree. We both noticed that there were only 10 John Deeres, eight Farmalls, one Case, one Rumely, one Massey-Harris and just a few other tractors and engines.

Since it was raining, my cousin and I decided to go get something to eat at 5:00 p.m. I drove my truck to the restaurant and we returned to the fairgrounds after supper at 6:00 p.m. We both observed the tractors coming slowly into the fairgrounds. It was raining some, but not really enough to stop people from bringing their possessions to the show. We both decided to leave at 7:00 p.m. and go visit our aunt who lived some three blocks east of the fairgrounds.

At my aunt's house the weather started to change. The weather station on TV said severe thunderstorms. A few minutes later the lights went out. At 7:30 p.m. all 'HECK' broke loose. I watched out the east window of my aunt's house. The rain, wind, leaves, insulation and other unknown objects were flying through the air. The electricity was off, but I really did not think too much about the weather. You expect anything in southern Ohio. At 8:00 p.m. I left my aunt's house and went back to the fairgrounds some three blocks away to the west. When I got to the fairgrounds I really got the message. A TORNADO, an F4 rating with some 200 miles per hour winds had hit Xenia again.


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