March 19-22, 2014, found me at the Gathering of the Green in Davenport, Iowa. This is a premier event for folks who love “green” tractors. Whether or not you’re a two-cylinder fan, love the New Generation tractors, enjoy John Deere implements, are devoted to toys or just admire everything Deere, you will enjoy the Gathering of the Green!
There were over 75 vendors from all over the United States, over 60 technical and historical workshops and presentations, plus amazing displays, auctions, and an evening banquet with keynote speaker, Ken Buell. There were also trips and tours available and vendors lined up to offer products and services.
The many displays found throughout the RiverCenter followed the theme for the 2014 Gathering, "Preserving America’s Heritage." These displays set up by the host club’s volunteers, were really fabulous and included a tour through a machine shed, a timeline of John Deere equipment and even a real John Deere silo right there in the middle of the RiverCenter Atrium! I don’t know how they did that!
I am always amazed at the time, effort and care that is given to make such an event, or “gathering” possible! This particular one is sponsored by four John Deere antique tractor clubs: Deer Valley Collectors, Illinois Valley Two-Cylinder Club, North Eastern Illinois Twin-Cylinder Club, and Northwest Illinois Deer Collectors.
Hats off to all the volunteers!
This event is held every other year, so the next one will be in 2016. For more info, go to www.gathering ofthegreen.com
See you down the road!
August 29 through September 2, 2013 - Back at the Old Threshers Reunion, where Farm Collector
and Gas Engine Magazine
have a presence every year. We appreciate everyone who stops by to renew their subscriptions, purchase some favorite tractor and engine books, sign up for prizes or just say hello!
A big hit in our booth this year was the “What Is It” Display and contest. Lots of folks participated in guessing what all the odd looking tools were used for. Sorry I couldn’t help you out, I didn’t know the answers either! :)
This year, Beth Douglass-Silcox , the author of the children’s book, The Little Rumely Man, was signing autographs in our booth! Check out her site to order a book for your kids or grandkids!
Look who stopped by to say hello! It’s Towmater, or a homemade version of him, from the animated movie Cars. Chuck Pelley of Wheatland, Iowa, built the Towmater.
These kids were learning all about rope-making in the Log Village area on the south end of the grounds. At Mt. Pleasant, you can find continuous living demonstrations like this, plus rail-splitting, soap-making, blacksmithing, rug weaving, and much more.
I’ve had the fun experience of sharing the sights of the show with my parents in the past, and this year my youngest son joined me. It’s truly a great family show!
Join us at the show this year (Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2014) in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Stop in and sign up to win some fun prizes. We will be there to help you renew your subscriptions and fill up your book shelf with some new books! www.oldthreshers.com
At the 48th Tri-State Gas Engine show in Portland, Ind., August 2013, the features were Cockshutt tractors and Wisconsin engines. Here are a few pictures from the Feature Area—
I enjoy looking at the Cockshutt tractors as my husband owns a 1956 Cockshutt 50 that was purchased new by his uncle and I don’t stumble across those very often.
Here’s a picture of the booth manned by Bob and Linda Crowell, who sell subscriptions for our publications as well as other similar niche magazines. You can always find them in Row G!
The weather as always is a big factor at any of the outdoor shows. We had some hot muggy weather, and then some rain which made for some mud to get through.
A pic of the “world’s first one man chainsaw, I.E.L. Beaver, Canada 1944,” according to the sign…
Crowds always gather in the engine area. One of those big engines starts puffing out smoke and that flywheel turns and folks just migrate in that general direction. There are even bleachers set up as it is a favorite spot to land.
Speaking of the engine area, this year I was honored to become a member of the Oil Field Engine Society (OFES) in a very secret initiation that I’m not allowed to divulge! :)
Check out this fun little train. An interesting way to see the show, umbrellas for heat or rain; just sit back and enjoy the ride!
I always get the ribeye sandwiches at this show and this year I tried a buffalo burger! Good stuff.
The website for this show is www.tristategasenginetractor.com. Come see the swap meet in May, the show in August or the swap meet in October!
See you down the road!
August 16-18, 2013, we enjoyed our 2nd visit to the 20th annual Buckmaster Expo in Montgomery, Alabama. My colleague, Sheila, and I visited with many leaders from major hunting and outdoor companies. According to the Buckmaster’s Expo Facts, hunters spent 24.4 billion dollars on equipment and travel related expenses in 2011!
Walking down the aisles, or more like shuffling through the crowds, we saw all things hunting from bows, rifles, optics, trail cams, camping gear and clothing.
Here’s a booth with some cool merchandise.
Thad Cartwright shown here showing off his 2013 Buckmaster Golden Laurel Citation winner. This Kentucky buck was entered in the Buckmasters Whitetail Trophy Records and is a new world record among irregular bowkills in velvet.
The Buckmaster Top Bow Indoor World Championship sponsored by Matthews is held during the Expo. A great competition to watch with skilled competitors vying for the title.
We got to meet Casey and Chris Keefer of Back Country Quest TV and other big names in the hunting circles. Great guys and we found out they hunt whitetails quite often close to our area in Kansas. As a matter of fact, when we would tell folks we were from Kansas, that’s a common theme in their replies!
We were also privileged to once again visit with many of the hard-working folks from Buckmaster, like Jody and Paige Mulder, Chad Davidson, Fuller Mitchum, and more, plus the one and only Jackie Bushman, picture here at their booth.
The admission to get into the Expo is one can of food per person, which is expected to generate more than 120,000 meals for the Salvation Army’s Montgomery-area shelter and the River Region. Many leaders in the outdoor industry applaud Jackie Bushman and Buckmasters for the charitable donations they make and the work they do for the industry and the surrounding community.
Next year’s Expo is August 15-17. Check out their site to learn more about Buckmaster and the Expo. www.buckmasters.com
See you down the road!
Trooping on to my next show of the summer landed me in Connecticut with one of my favorite travel companions, editor of Farm Collector, Leslie McManus. We walked through the show of the Quinebaug Valley Engine Association show in Colchester. Just our luck, the eastern states were experiencing a heat wave so I didn’t really get a reprieve from hot and humid Kansas temperatures. This show is held on the grounds of the Zagray Farm Museum, which has quite a neat history.
A long time advertiser and a past president of the club, Mark Maikshilo of Mark’s Magneto (see his ads in Farm Collector and Gas Engine Magazine) gave Leslie and I a guided tour of the grounds. We saw the Machine Shop which houses lathes, drill presses and machinery that has been restored back to working condition. Even handwriting on the walls of the shop, written by one of the three bachelor brothers who owned the farm and have since passed away. Calculations and scrawlings of a hard working creative mind.
The Zagray Brothers had quite a collection of machinery, with an affinity toward Farmall F-20 and Farmall regular tractors. We walked to the spot where the club members work a huge line up of construction equipment.
And we saw some of the Farmalls still hanging out amongst the trees.
Around 46 were found in various states of disassembly when the club started to clear through the property. They have kept the rest of these tractors intending to bring several back to running condition. I even got to try my hand at running this Northwestern steam shovel with the help my new friend, George Jarvis!
The QVEA club had been granted a lease by Harry Zagray, along with a bill of sale for all personal property. On Dec. 9, 2001, as the QVEA work party cleared through the piles of iron treasures, Mark, the club President at that time, discovered under an old sink and some canvas, a metal ammo box. Opening it up he called other club members over to find almost $55,000 in cash in the box. The estate got the cash, but gave the club a finder’s fee, which included over 400 freshly minted and wrapped $2 bills that had been found in the box. The $2 bills are now offered to individuals interested in owning a part of the historic Zagray Farms and contributing to its ongoing development as a farm museum.
Many dedicated volunteers give their time and efforts to see the heritage of the Zagray Farms, old iron of the area and their club preserved. See their website at www.qvea.org, or read about them in this article from the Farm Collector archive.
They hold several shows a year so check it out and see if you can make it to one or two!
I usually try to mention a fun food find at the shows. They had some great homemade ice cream which is always a must do. But we discovered a favorite spot just off the grounds in Colchester called Harry’s Place. Oh boy…the ice cream and the Lobster Rolls…three words…To Die For!! :)
See you down the Road!
New York New York!! Well, a little bit west of the Big Apple, there’s some beautiful farm country near the Finger Lakes area. Four Two-Cylinder clubs hold this great show every other year where you can see a plethora of John Deere tractors, equipment and vendors in a nice setting on the New York Steam Engine Association grounds near Canandaigua. Officially titled the New York State Two Cylinder Expo Association-Expo XI and held July 11-13, 2013, this is pegged on their brochure as the world’s largest antique two cylinder John Deere show. This year’s feature was John Deere Model G.
This is a part of the group who meets you in the parking lot sending you in the right direction to park. The horses are always a fun distraction for kids young and old.
Lots of activities, demonstrations and seminars are included in the schedule. Tractor pulls are always a big favorite.
Arlene, Shirley and Joyce man the booth for Jorde’s Decals!
This year’s Expo XI truck was a 1957 Chevy Step-side Pickup (cost $35.00 plus $6.50 for shipping) If you are interested in purchasing the collectible truck, send a check to A & B COLLECTIBLES 352 South Drive, Rochester, New York 14612. There are still some Expo X models available as well. Call Al Hain at 585-227-1864.
My pals with John Deere & Company thought it was a good idea to get me in this picture with Chris Boyens of John Deere and a nice guy we met there at the show! I really AM a Munchkin from Kansas!
The Two Cylinder clubs who host the event are Finger Lakes Chapter, Southern Tier, Central New York, and Western NY. For more information go to www.newyorkstateexpo.com the next New York Expo will be July 9-11, 2015 and they will feature John Deere Model 430.
See you down the road!
One Fish, Two Fish…Fishing fun at the ICAST (International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades) in Las Vegas in July 2013. The world’s largest sportfishing trade show, ICAST teamed up with IFTD (International Fly Tackle Dealer) and is produced by the ASA (American Sportfishing Assn.), the sportfishing industry’s trade association. The ASA looks out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. The show is the premier showcase for the latest innovations in fishing gear, accessories and apparel and is the cornerstone of the sportfishing industry helping to drive sportfishing companies’ product sales year round. According to the website, 9,500 representatives from the global fishing industry converged to the Las Vegas Convention Center for the show.
There was a new product showcase and many booths set up by well-known brands.
Here’s the Fly Fishing pond where folks were testing their skills at fly fishing. This was fun to watch, such a smooth and quiet process.
Co-Worker Sheila Kearney and I got to meet several pro fishermen in attendance at the show. Here we are with Brent Chapman!
We met many reps from companies all over and hope to partner with them in some way with our magazines. It’s a perfect fit and I’m sure our readers who fish and hunt and love the outdoors would agree!
To learn more go to www.icastfishing.org or to join or learn more about ASA see www.ASAfishing.org and www.KeepAmericaFishing.org.
See you down the road