| February/March 1999

27 Loon Lake Road Bigfork, Montana 59911

Here in Northwest Montana we have our own 'Field of Dreams,' namely the Northwest Antique Power Association. We have discovered the key to a successful show, and that is to have something for the 'little people' to do, and this year we had just that. Besides having three model steam engines running on tracks, we had two barrel trains giving rides to the children both show days.

Showtime was September 12 and 13, in Columbia Falls. The weather was perfect both days. When Saturday arrived we had 56 tractors and 115 engines. A 1909 Case steam tractor and a 1923 Minneapolis 28 HP steam tractor were busy either threshing oats or plowing with a 12-bottom plow.

Our oat crop was great thanks to 'El Nino.' While the kids were enjoying their rides, the bigger folks were kept busy watching threshing, sawmilling, baling the straw, or just browsing among the tractors, perhaps reminiscing of goneby days down on the farm. Walking by the engine rows must have shaken loose some memories of times when the engine wouldn't start so water could be pumped or clothes could be washed. Well, times haven't changed much. We still have to fiddle with the same parts that caused Grandfather so much grief.

Our tractor parade had 50 tractors in it both days, and our grandstand was full of spectators with standing room only.

We had exhibitors from Idaho and from eastern Montana. Wayne Matson came from Wisconsin with his 'barrel train' and was kept busy both days. There were tractors and engines for sale. I know that two engines found a new home.