Blaker's Labor Day

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Alvordton, Ohio

'LABOR DAY IS FOR Laboring' would seem to be my husband's philosophy, since for years now he has been getting up even earlier on that Monday than on others, to get fires started in all three of his steam engines, and to see that everything is in readiness for the day's activities. Just how this custom was started we don't seem to remember, but probably it began when Louis David, Earnest Hoffer and Gil Cow-den would come to the farm on that day to put away for the winter the engines which they exhibited at the NTA Reunion the previous June. The men have always said they enjoyed that day almost more than the Reunions, since they could have fun with their engines without feeling an obligation to 'put on a show.'

For several years we have had pot-luck dinners and suppers, and the women have taken this opportunity not only to visit but to discuss and plan TNT activities and projects. While we have never issued invitations, it has been generally known that everyone was welcome, and each year has seen about 75 persons of all ages gathering at the Blaker farm. This year the yard was filled with cars from Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, somewhat as in the days when the NTA Reunions were held here. But the red Studebaker pick-up and its owner, Louie David, were sadly missed this year, so the two big Avery engines stayed in their stalls, cold and empty. Earnest Hoffer's 14 hp. Buffalo-Pitts, LeRoy's 24-75 Port Huron and 65 Case were put on the Baker fan, and the 24-75 Port Huron in the saw mill was also steamed up and some sawing was done. Dinner and supper were served in the new machine shed, since it was a windy and not-too-warm day.

Both NTA and TNT business sessions were held, and it was decided to hold the pre-Reunion meeting the Sunday before Memorial Day at the Blaker farm, when it is planned to dedicate the marker which Merle Newkirk has proposed to give to the NTA to designate this farm as the site of the first steam engine thresher Reunion in the United States.