And What Does Your Husband Collect?

| March/April 1993

19675 T Drive N. Olivet, Michigan 49076.

This story could serve as a warning to women of would-be retired iron collectors, or in most circles, of what are identified as gasoline engines. It can also serve as a support to those women who already have husbands who are 'hooked'.

I use the word hooked, not reservedly or loosely, but rather as a factual term. Because ladies, antique gasoline engine collecting is an addiction! If your man says, 'But I just want one.' don't believe it for one second! That 'just one' is like trying to eat one peanut, one potato chip, or one olive. The strongest of wills succumb to this strange phenomenon.

I speak from experience. My husband Bill, also known as Carl, is a collector. It began in the summer, 1965, at a gas engine show in Coldwater, Michigan. Being rather naive at the time, I failed to notice the warning signs at first.

Bill scrutinized every engine on display, whether it was a single exhibit or a trailer load. He pulled levers, diddled gadgets, flipped flywheels, looked down, up, under, and into all parts of each and every engine. All this time he was asking an untold number of questions. Examining something that methodically was the red-alert I failed to pick up on. That is, until on the ride home. The conviction in his statement, 'I'm going to have one of those someday,' set off a 'beep, beep, beep.'

Winter came and went. As spring began to set in, I was beginning to think I had misinterpreted the tone of his last summer's comment. Bill's rhetorical question, 'Guess what I found?' upon arriving home from town that day ended that speculation.