Pleasure and Pathos

By Staff

4777 Upper Valley Pike, Dayton, Ohio, 45424

With great anticipation of fun days ahead, Dan Elherding of
Jamestown, Ohio completed details of his planned trip to the
Waukee, Iowa Swap Meet. He loaded his trailer with merchandise and
a UC Allis which was to be dropped of at Herb Beckemeyer’s near
Champaign, Illinois and headed to Dayton to pick up Norm
Stuckey.

At the Stuckey farm Dan explained his eight spare tires all fit
the trailer and that even now he had one on the trailer losing air.
This early trouble before he was even fifty miles from home maybe
justified all the spares. Dan and Norm headed down I-70 for Indiana
to pick up Allen Beall near Rushville. Only one stop to fill up the
three-quarter ton Ford and air for the low trailer tire was enough
to get to the Beall farm.

The only break from tractor and engine talk was when Dan changed
a trailer tire. Allen had many items he had collected including a
very rare Oliver on rubber tracks and an early separator that
bailed the straw.

It was neighborly of Allen and his wife to feed Dan and Norm and
provide a bed. The next morning, a Thursday, bright and early Allen
joined Dan and Ed to drive to Champaign, Illinois.

Herb wasn’t home to help unload the UC, but that didn’t
keep the three travelers from looking through the buildings and
admiring a fine collection of restored tractors. An Oliver 99 had
just been completed and a Huber early Super-Four was in process.
Herb did arrive to fill in the details about his collection.

It was noon before leaving Herb’s and there was a long trip
ahead. The Ford would have a lighter pull now-but one trailer tire
was low.

Changing drivers made the trip enjoyable and as evening
approached we arrived in Des Moines. Everything seemed fine until
the Ford started making noises. A stop at a ‘no work done
here’ gas station allowed only a fill up. There was a grassy
patch at the edge of the station’s cement slab so here Dan
crawled under to take a look. Yes, the differential was hot and low
on oil.

With fortitude and a prayer we made the Motel 6, five miles
away. While checking in, some engine collectors from California
gave us a preview of what was at Waukee. They had a good sized
trailer, which they aimed to load with gas engines. Later it was
noted that they had.

Friday morning after breakfast the garages were opening up and
several inquiries took Dan and the Ford to the Goodyear Service
Center a block away. The truck could be driven and didn’t sound
bad but anyone could tell it wouldn’t go far. About a block
away was a car rental so Dan rented a car and loaded the things
from the trailer at the motel into the car and we headed for
Waukee.

The show grounds were a bee hive of activity,. There were people
from everywhere, and it looked like there were many buyers. Things
were being moved about all over the place.

The rental car was parked and the items for sale were put out on
a spread canvas. It looked like many sellers had left their items
to shop around. Norm was appointed to be salesperson as Dan and
Allen had to find a friend to borrow a pickup with a bumper hitch.
It was Dan’s plan to get the trailer and head off 90 miles
southwest to pick up an Emerson Brantingham tractor purchased weeks
before.

A call to the garage about mid-morning brought the word that a
used rear end was available and it looked like four hundred dollars
would put the Ford on the road. With this information Dan was
anxious to get the pickup back for the scheduled return to Ohio on
Sunday. Here it was Friday and the garage did work on Saturday
also.

Dan found a friend who said sure take his pickup and go get the
EB tractor. Allen went along to help and the trip took the rest of
Friday. It was a comfort to have the tractor loaded and at Waukee
ready for the journey to Ohio.

Saturday morning the garage said they needed to work on one of
the brake cylinders and the Ford would be ready after lunch. The
car rental people were great; very cooperative and when one is a
stranger in a foreign land good people are a treasure. To have
trouble at home is bad enough but beware when you are away from
home.

The garage charged Dan $800.00. This came as a shock to Dan but
what can one do. In Ohio the State Legislature passed laws
governing the garage business. This is enforced by the Adjutant
General of the State. This is only the business the elected
officials feel needs regulating. All garages must give a written
estimate and if more than $25 above the estimate the garage must
notify the customer before doing the work. All parts replaced must
be available for the customer. The Waukee Swap Meet was worth the
trip and I want to go back. The show grounds were covered with
displays of engine and tractor parts and related items. Oh yes,
there were complete engines and tractors for sale too. We soon
realized that business started early in the week and this may well
be expected. Buyers and sellers came from all over the country as
the needed exchanges took place. There were sellers shopping other
sellers to find items to resell. This always happens at flea
markets.

If and when we return to Waukee, we will plan to be ready to do
business on Wednesday. Many hard to find parts were brought in and
it is true many sellers couldn’t be there until Saturday so one
just has to spend several days to catch it all.

Waukee is the best swap meet I have been to and Dan and Allen
are good companions to attend with.

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