| January/February 1972

No--this is not the announcement of a first-launching of a jet-propulsion missile to outer space from the North American Space Agency Laboratories. Nor does it concern the unveiling of some new kind of military weaponry, for its purpose was not to wipe out human life or cause physical suffering.

The only 'space' that O. V. A. M. was concerned with was that of conquering the Brown County Fairgrounds, which it did from the very first 'launching', which took place on August 13, 1971, at Georgetown, Ohio, in the gently rolling hills of southern Buckeyeland.

The Ohio Valley Antique Machinery boys had never launched an old-time, historical agricultural show before. But they planned it like they already had. For at the very first hour of the show's opening, every antique tractor, car and gas engine, as well as concession--everything that was on the card, including the steam engines--was in its appointed place when the count-down approached 'zero.' This does not mean that much other antique equipment did not arrive, as the week-end wore on and the shop boys punched out their time-clocks at their respective factories. They did arrive, to the added interest of all. But all the scheduled ones were there, in place, when the first flag went up and the starting gun went off.

'This is our first show--I guess we should be quite nervous about it,' said a very busy Roger Neal, president of O. V. A. M., who should have been chewing his fingernails, but wasn't.

'We wanted everything in its place before the show started on opening day.' added secretary, Stanley Mack, who had worked so hard to make it that way. Mack, like most secretaries with broad shoulders, was busy everywhere at all times, greeting and welcoming folks-seeing to it that everyone was most happily situated to benefit best his own particular idiom. But, in greeting me, and accidentally leaning his bare hand on the hot exhaust pipe of the idling Joe Dear did not make his job any easier-- but a bandage did. And Stanley Mack was just as affable and congenial throughout the show as if it hadn't happened. (Though it did.)

As a reward for all their first-year planning, approximately 7,500 crashed the O. V. A. M. gates to get a view of the some one-hundred antique gas engines all popping and chugging, the forty old gas tractors of various vintages and designs, the eighty classical and antique cars, the four old trucks and five steam engines all with a 'full head of steam up.'


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