If there was any common denominator during my experience at shows this season, it was rain. Although it did not rain at every show I attended (well done, Mt. Pleasant!), rain made an appearance at most others I took in.
There are many (including me) who check weather forecasts roughly 29 times a day for 10 days before attending an outdoor event. Others (also me) scoff at such behavior. A friend of mine is calm in the face of a damp forecast. “If it rains,” he says, “we’ll get wet.”
Still, an ounce of caution is worth a pound of cure. Things I’ve learned about rain at tractor shows:
Headed to the Tri-State Gas Engine & Tractor Assn. show in Portland, Indiana? People may warn you that it will rain there. Believe them.
The day you wear rain boots to a show is probably not the day it will rain. That said, wearing rain boots should not be considered a form of insurance.
Disposable rain ponchos are apparently a novelty at tractor rallies in western Scotland, where they generate great amusement for the locals who are, without exception, clad in sensible, substantial raingear.
On return to a hotel room after a day spent slogging about in the mud (and I mean the kind of mud that consumes shoes and socks or coats the bottom 4 inches of your jeans) there is a certain satisfaction in pitching mud-coated items in the trash – certainly more satisfaction than is achieved by spending the next hour cleaning said items for use the next day.
When bending over to retrieve and re-install a shoe sucked off your foot by mud, remember to replace the lens cap on the camera swinging from your shoulder first. Remember the law of gravity: What goes up, must come down. And not always where you want it to.
And finally, when options for shelter are limited, given a choice between standing in a downpour and seeking refuge in a crafts building, the average man develops a sudden enthusiasm for crafts. Don’t take it so hard; it’s not for the rest of your life. And who knows? Maybe there’ll be an ice cream vendor in there too! FC
Leslie C. McManus -LMcManus@ogdenpubs.com