Engine collection and shingle mill demonstrated by Neal Winebarger, of Boone, kneeling.
Sec. Carolina Fly-Wheelers Engine Club 3841 Highway 421 S Boone, North Carolina 28607
Each year as I send in this article, I hesitate to call it a show report. While I do try to describe some of the events that I know about and/or find interesting, it seems to be next to impossible to get an accurate count. Many vendors do not register and many of the exhibitors don't register either, including some of our own club members! For what reason they do not do so is truly hard to comprehend. I suppose they're just too busy having a good time to bother with what they must consider trivial matters. Oh well! I guess it will continue to be a mystery.
Our '98 show opened on a sad note due to the death of the property owner where we hold this event, Mrs. Learon Keller. As quickly as we were able to do so, the club ordered an appropriate flower arrangement which was placed in her memory at the entrance gate with a note of explanation. I know she would have wanted us to continue with the show because she knew how much everybody enjoys themselves. She, and other family members, always attended our show when she was able. She was such a sweet, quiet lady; and what a beautiful memorial service. Mrs. Keller is survived by two daughters and three sons.
We might as well discuss the weather next and get that out of the way. According to our local radio station, the average high temperature for Boone is 78 degrees with the hottest it's ever recorded in Boone is 92 degrees. Our 19th annual was a 'clean show' again. Out of a near-drought-summer, on Friday afternoon we had a RAIN! The joke at the showgrounds, following about a two-hour-and-fifty-minute rain, became, 'Do you know how to make it rain in Boone?' The answer, 'Plan an engine show!' Everybody seemed to take the rain in stride, realizing that we desperately needed it and everyone has grown to expect it to happen sometime during the show. Of course, most of us will take that over the wind, cold weather, and SNOW that we occasionally experienced when we had our shows in October.
What records we have show that we had exhibitors, vendors and/or spectators from Florida to Colorado. Out park ranger decided to do something other than a split rail fence, which involved just as much manual labor. This time he took a rather large cherry log and hewed a very nice mantel, ideally suitable for a log cabin. He surely made lots of wood chips and shavings, as well as attracted lots of onlookers. Next to the park ranger was Neal Winebarger with quite a collection of small hit and miss gasoline engines. One of which he used to power a shingle mill. Neal and his dad Ben had Neal's display set up next to his uncle, Lynn Castle, who always attracts a lot of attention with his log saw rig. (It is featured in this year's 25th Anniversary Edition of the 1999 Steam and Gas Show Directory. See their picture on Page 13.) These are normally located across from the Hodges clan, whose active displays include corn meal grinding and antique wood lathe demonstrations. All of these are conveniently located next to the food service area.
We try to reserve the front row of 'gasoline alley' for our own club members. They seem to have more fun than anybody! Also, they can be easily located if they are needed. Then we have the various vendors who provide most everything from food to tarps. On down the line is the steam equipment. Raymond Scholl, along with his dad, Marvin, and J. C. Greene, pretty much take care of these displays.
Last, but not least, as the saying goes, are the antique cars and tractors. So many of our people are involved here that it would be hard to name them all. However, Rick Watson and Jeff Hodges arrange the usual tractor parade. Plans are already under way for some extra activities for our special 20th annual show coming up this summer, not only in this area but some of the others as well. Be sure to look for my husband, John Hodges, he always has some kind of different eye-catcher most every year. This time he really has a weird-looking contraption that he put together this winter, using part of his oiler collection.
Our club tries to showcase and promote the preservation and restoration of antique farm equipment and tools through our meetings, publications and shows. We also try to involve the family in as many activities as possible. We always have a cook-out/picnic for our last meeting each year. Plus, this fall, on a very chilly Saturday morning in November, 32 club and family members bundled up quite early, and met together in Bryson City to ride the (steam engine-powered) Great Smoky Mountain Railway. We even had our own private car, a dining room, called the Panama Coach. It turned out to be a beautiful fall day. We all had such a good time that we want to do it again this year.
Come enjoy the natural beauty of the high country and help us celebrate our 20th anniversary. Make plans now to head for the hills (some of the oldest, highest, and most scenic mountains in the world) to enjoy some sunny days, warm nights, and gentle breezes and a great little engine show on July 23, 24, & 25, 1999. For information call Raymond Scholl (828) 297-4406 or Betty Hodges (828) 264-4977.