In Memory of Dennis Fast
55 Calumet Avenue, Oakland, New Jersey 07436
This story begins at the summer show in 1996 of the Blue
Mountain Antique Gas and Steam Engine Club of Bangor,
Dennis, Ed Farley and I were looking at a
1/3 scale model of a 4 HP Domestic vertical
engine displayed by Bob Herter. Bob said he was going to have
castings made and was going to sell them as kits. Well, it
wasn’t long before the three of us decided we would each like
to have one. Being a retired tool and die maker and having the
machines needed for the task, we ordered three kits. We finally got
the castings at the Fall Jacktown Show in October 1996.
I spend the winter months in sunny Florida, so I decided to take
the castings with me and prepare them for machining. After
returning in April, I started machining in earnest. Things were
Later that summer, Dennis took ill with what they thought was
pneumonia. Then in late July, Dennis was diagnosed with inoperable
cancer. In just eight short weeks, Dennis lost his battle with the
disease and passed away on September 20, 1997, at the age of 56.
Dennis was an avid engine collector, with about 30 engines and a
complete collection, of Debolt models. As fate would have it, I did
not get the three models completed before his death.
With a heavy heart, I went on and completed them in September of
1998. They were displayed at the Farley-Fast Engine Show at which
time Ed Farley got one and Dennis’s partner, Barbara Irwin, got
Dennis’. The Farley-Fast Engine Show was a dream of Dennis’
and Ed’s and started several years ago as a one-day
get-together of several friends. It’s held at the home of
Dennis and Barbara’s longtime friends, Dave and Jo Ann
Wintermute. The event has grown into a great show, and this year
over 150 visitors attended. Some of Dennis’ engines were
brought out and displayed, and brought to life in his memory. Now,
every time I look at my model engine it reminds me of all the
wonderful times we had together and I know he is watching from the
Gas Engine Show in the Sky. Dennis, from all your family and
friends, we miss ya!
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