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
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.