Letters: Protecting show visitors

Shortages of common sense at shows is cause for alarm

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I have been reading Farm Collector for several years and the letter to the editor on “Shortage of Common Sense” in the February 2011 issue reminded me of things I’ve witnessed at tractor shows. I collect air-cooled gasoline engines and lawn and garden equipment, and am a member of the Sussex Antique Power Association.

At our show several years ago, I saw two incidents of carelessness by visitors. In one, a woman stood so close to a sawmill that her long skirt drug on the flat belt. A club member had to step down from the platform and pull her away from the belt. In the other instance, a man failed to watch his son close enough. Right after I shut my engines down to go to lunch, the man’s son crawled under the rope and touched the muffler on one of the engines. Naturally he suffered a nasty burn, since the muffler on an air-cooled engine is extremely hot when it has run for four hours straight. His father promptly threatened to sue me. Luckily a police officer saw the whole thing and told the father he didn’t have a case.

I really don’t know what else can be done if parents don’t watch their children like they should, and if adults don’t exercise more common sense and caution. I sure hope it doesn’t get to the point where these shows will only be a fond memory.