Steam Engine Show Proud Reminder of Midwestern Heritage
Midwestern heritage shines at the Pioneer Engineer Club's Steam Engine Show
The Case tractor that transported Patricia to back to her roots.
It was the first weekend in August, which also happened to be around the anniversary of my parents' wedding. I knew what that meant. I would be asked if I wanted to attend the Pioneer Engineer Club's annual Steam Engine Show in Rushville, Ind., with the family. I had been to the show nearly every year for the first 15 years of my life. I was slightly interested. But given the sweltering temperatures and the exhausting Indiana humidity, I was not excited about going this year.
I had planned to help a friend move into her house that weekend, and was looking forward to giving both my parents and myself a little break from each other (I had just returned to their nest after living in Los Angeles for seven years). However, I said I would try to meet them on Sunday before the show closed.
As I cruised up the exit ramp off I-74 in my Hyundai with California plates, I hadn't decided if I was getting gas, or actually following the route to Rushville. That is, until I found myself explaining to the parking attendant "...I really don't need to pay, because my father is a member he has a little antique Case tractor with red wheels he's on the other side of the arena and he meant to leave me the pass but I couldn't find it so I left the house without it because the parade was going to start and I didn't want to miss it and I could bring it back to prove it if you would just let me in..." Then I realized this was not L.A. Everything was going to be ok.
"Go ahead. I believe you," the parking attendant said, and he did.
I drove past the first attendant who hollered to the next one, who was taking tickets.
"She's with a member," he said. "She left her pass at home!"
The next gentleman, wearing a bright orange baseball cap and a friendly expression, chuckled.
"You're supposed to use that story tomorrow," he said.
Of course, the show would be gone tomorrow, and the entire premises would be bare, except for the field spotted with trash, and dusty trails where hundreds of cars had parked for the four-day weekend.
Parking. Big-city instincts came over me again. This meant war. I jerked my car into second gear, honing in on the ultimate spot that everyone had apparently overlooked. Ha, ha! Fools they are. Look out: I'm a professional parking spot finder. I felt triumph. This was too good to be true. Right up front, the parking game had hardly begun, and I had found the perfect spot. RESERVED. Uh oh. Sheepishly, I found reverse with a grind and begged my way back in the line of patient Hoosiers who undoubtedly uttered something about California drivers. But they were nice enough to let me in.
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