While ambling down an aisle of gas engines at a recent show, I saw a little girl, maybe 3 years old, strolling happily along with her parents. During the split second that her parents turned to look in one direction, the child zeroed in on a running engine in the other direction and advanced at a trot, reaching for the flywheel.
It’s about impossible to yell over the cacophony of an engine show. Strollers, golf carts and groups of visitors clogged the aisle. But despite the innumerable distractions that exist at a show, several people saw what was happening. In a reaction so synchronized it might have been choreographed, onlookers and mom sprung into action and the little girl was scooped up just in time.
In this country, every business of any size commits extensive resources to the topic of safety. Those with the highest exposure allocate enormous sums to ensure safety protocols are rigorously observed. Why? Because they know that in the vast majority of circumstances, accidents can be prevented.
It is a lesson we in this hobby would do well to learn. Antique machinery is massive, cantankerous and sometimes unpredictable. Spectators often have absolutely no idea of potential hazards. At every step of the process – from the time you load your trailer to go to the show, to the time you strap the load down for the return trip, be extra careful. When you’re with your display, keep an eye on spectators. When you’re driving on the grounds, keep an eye on spectators. Accidents happen when we’re tired and when we get in a hurry. Think, think and then think again. You cannot be too safe.
We need your help! We’re working on an article on the scrap metal drives of World War II. If you have memories of a drive or if your dad or uncle or granddad or somebody shared firsthand experience of a scrap drive with you, we’d love to hear about it (same goes for photos). Please write or email me at the address below!
And finally, there’s no new editor here – just a new picture. After 12 years, the old one was about wore out! Picture, that is: The editor is good for another 100,000 miles. Hoping to see you this summer as I rack up a few of those myself! FC