10907 Cleveland, Kansas City, Missouri 64137
After ten months of hard planning and harder work, its sad that two days can go by so fast. August 13 and 14, 1977 were two of the fastest but most enjoyable of my life. The event was the 16th annual Platte County Steam and Gas Engine Show, at the Platte County fairgrounds in Tracy, Missouri.
There were an abundance of steam engines on hand as usual, including 8 full size traction engines and 14 fine model engines. Among the small engines, were Ross Naler's 2/3 scale 16 HP Advance, Ron Roebuck's size 22 HP Advance, Ralph Leving's size double cylinder Rumely and a scale double cylinder Buffalo Pitts owned by James Bell, whose father was one of the founders of the show. The large engines included a 16 HP Russell owned by Rod Conner, a 16-60 HP double cylinder Nichols & Shepard owned by Calvin and Ted Brookover, a 65 HP Case owned by Robert and Wilbur Fleming, a 20 HP Advance owned by Wilbur Fleming, a 18 HP double cylinder Keck Gonnerman owned by Bill Fickel, a 25 HP Russell owned by James Bell, and a rubber tired free lance road locomotive using a 40 HP Case boiler and an undermounted double cylinder engine, also owned by James Bell.
We had the usual displays of threshing, baker fan, teeter board, miniature sawmills, powered by the models, and, thanks to the efforts of Wilbur Fleming and Ross Naler, a new full size sawmill.
Saturday night the gas tractors that were on hand, plus many that were hauled in, got to show their stuff at our antique tractor pull. These tractors are not as loud as the 9,000 lb. hot rods, but there is something kind of nice about seeing a 40 year old machine doing what it was meant to do, and I might add, doing it well. The highlight of the whole show for me, was the end of the tractor pull, when I hooked my 20-75 double 'Nick' to the sled, which was a 10 x 20 foot sheet of steel, with something over 10,000 lbs. on it, and pulled it all the way through. The crowd seemed to enjoy it as there was a lot of standing and clapping.
Sunday was another fine day, and after the church service in the grand stand, there was lots more fun for all. With the flea markets going strong, the antique cars being shined up, the steamers smoking, and delicious chicken and beef dinners being served, it was parade time almost before I knew it. And as I drove through the parade, I was sad that the show was about over, but it had been a glorious two days and that makes it easy to plan for 1978.