Orr1617 32nd Street, Anacortes, Washington 98221
One of the problems that remains to be solved in the present day
show atmosphere is the problem of education. Because of
restrictions of insurance, OSHA, etc., people today do not have the
same opportunities to go into a shop and look over a workman’s
shoulder that we had thirty or forty years ago. Because of this we
are running out of people to help man the exhibits at the shows
that we have all worked so hard to bring into being around the
This does not mean that the interest is missing. As we get into
the age of the computer, more and more people are finding great
satisfaction in hobbies that require hands-on. Just look at the
proliferation of hobby magazines to discover the truth of this.
The problem lies in making the old technology accessible. This
involves a seventy year man passing his knowledge on to a fifteen
or twenty year old person. It involves a tractor or engine owner
allowing a young person some hands-on experience.
Some clubs have made the effort and conduct schools. Other clubs
still have a long way to go and boards of directors should realize
that education is just as important at a show as making sure that
the buildings are painted and the grounds are clean.
The day of the $20 engine and the $100 tractor are gone with
most of the old equipment now being in the hands of collectors. How
is a young person going to get this hands-on experience if he does
not have the money for that steam or gas engine? How is the city
apartment dweller going to get hands-on experience when he has no
place to store or work on that steam or gas engine? The club is the
correct answer to both of these questions.
I do not wish to paint a picture of roses and sunshine without
telling you that there are some dark clouds. In any teaching
situation, there are students who are really interested and work
hard and there are students who could care less. There are students
who are sure that they know more than the teacher and there are
teachers who do not know as much as they think they do. Student and
teacher alike should approach the learning situation with the
understanding that we are all ‘only human’ and subject to
everything that that means. This is especially true in the
volunteer teaching situation.
One suggestion that I might make is any club setting up any type
of instruction program, charge the students a fee. The things we
are given we tend to discard, but the things we paid $2 for we tend
to keep. These monies can be used to pay for the instructors gas
expenses or for any club project.
When you pan for gold, a lot of dirt is washed away to find
those small grains of gold. In an educational program, out of ten
students, maybe one or two will become valuable club assets.
Isn’t it worth the effort?