Golden Spread Antique Machinery Association Show

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Reprinted with permission of the author, Marvin Baker, 712 La Vista, McAllen, Texas 78501, this article first appeared in the Rio Grande Valley Old Time Equipment Club's Newsletter. It was sent to us by J. D. Wilbanks, Box 532, Spearman, Texas 79081.

During one of our shows last March, we were discussing plans to attend various upcoming antique machinery shows. Several agreed that in September it would be nice to take in the Golden Spread Antique Machinery Association Show held on the Donald Sell farm at Perryton, Texas on September 19-20. By September 15th, all had changed their plans but me (Marvin Baker) and Mr. C. K. Koelle of Mission, Texas.

On the 16th, C. K. called and asked if I still wanted to go. When I answered in the affirmative, he said, 'Be ready tomorrow morning about 7.'

Slept good that night, but awakened at 4 a.m. and promptly decided it was too early to get up. Went back to sleep and was awakened at 7 a.m. by C. K. and the doorbell. It took almost 10 minutes to dress, grab my bag and get into the Koelle's new Buick Skylark.

After an uneventful trip, we arrived at the Donald Sell farm about 11 a.m. Friday, September 18th. About 40 Golden Spread Antique Machinery Association members were busy throughout the grounds. We carried about 30 pounds of papayas from McAllen to the Sells (who were not familiar with the fruit). It was graciously accepted by Mrs. Sell, who invited C. K. and me to join the work crew in a noontime barbecue.

Lloyd Dugan, our member from Fritch, Texas, was involved in tending some of the classic (pre 20s) old tractors. Other members of our association at the show were Rosie and Richard Kepler of San Antonio, who were enroute to 'Oscar's Dreamland' in Billings, Montana.

We stayed in a motel on the southeast fringe of Perryton. C. K. especially liked the accommodations because a K-Bob restaurant is next door. Subsequently, we were in Booker, and noted a large motel there. Didn't check the rates, but next time will try it. It, too, has a neat little cafe located nearby. Hookups are available for campers at the show grounds on a first-come, first-serve basis. Only electricity is available though.

Saturday morning, C. K. and I arrived at the show grounds about 9:15. To the right we witnessed a large blue and white striped tent crowded with people. C. K. commented, 'Let's go to church tomorrow,' as we hurried to the flea market section. Within 10 minutes I had managed to lose C. K., and vacillated toward the big tent. Lo and behold, no ministerial services. Carroll Gravert, Central City, Nebraska, was conducting a superb three hour seminar on the restoration of an antique tractor. He does this free, as a courtesy of Goodyear and Successful Farming magazine.

Located nearby was Cliff Rogers, a master with the acetylene cutting torch and old plow discs. His works are one of a kind and most artistic. A completed sculpture ranges from $250 up.

The noon meal was a catered affair. Approximately a pound of barbecue beef and all the trimmings for $4.50. Really delicious.

During my attendance at Carroll Gravert's seminar, I just happened to sit next to Dan Sell, Donald's brother. I mentioned that of all the classic antique tractors, we'd yet to find a Waterloo Boy. Dan invited C. K. and me to visit his farm later in the evening if we really wanted to see John Deere's predecessor.

At the Golden Spread Antique Machinery Association's Show antique tractors, steam engines, farm implements, cars and a museum are available for the scrutiny of the inquisitive visitor. Remarkably, all are functional. Everything works!

This was exemplified at the parade, which began promptly at 1 p.m. The header, pulled by a matched set of six Belgian horses, manned by three men and the header barge with a matched team of black mules was a magnificent sight. Then there were the pioneer self-propelled combines, a multitude of cars, coaches, tractors, steam engines and trucks.

At 2 o'clock a pickup truck with a cattle trailer drove onto the parade grounds. Charley Custer, of Logan, Oklahoma, a member of this association, dismounted from the truck and bade his two border collies do the same. Charley placed a gunny sack at his feet. An assistant released two white ducks about 150 feet away. Charley sent the two dogs for the ducks. Apparently, the ducks had been herded before, and really didn't care for such antics, as they quickly sought refuge under the cattle trailer.

The dogs were undaunted as they bellied down under the trailer, and using their noses pushed the ducks out, and herded them promptly to Charley and his sack. In the meantime, a small cattle panel corral had been put in place about 50 yards from the cattle trailer. The trailer gate was opened and out rushed six 500 pound calves. Upon Charley's command, the dogs drove the cattle into the corral. After resting the bovines briefly, the corral gate was opened, and Charley directed the dogs to put the cattle back into the trailer. The collies skillfully manipulated their charges to the point of origin, except one!! While Charley stood by the closed trailer gate, the dogs chased the recalcitrant dogie around the arena. After a little bit of this, Charley opened the trailer gate. (Ye, Gads, the poor old boy is going to lost the entire caboodle!) All the cattle came out of the trailer. The dogs drove the dogie into the herd, and then put the entire group back into the trailer.

After the parade, we next watched the kiddie tractor pull. One demure young lady was heard to exclaim, 'Ain't no boy going to beat me.'' And they didn't! She tied for first with a boy in the top class tractor pull.

A calliope of recent vintage furnished music throughout the day. Automatic or manual, it has a delightful sound to enjoy. The calliopist is one of the best. A visitor asked to substitute, and was allowed to take over the keyboard. It didn't take long for the audience to realize the owner of the calliope was the true master.

Spent a fast two hours in the museum and realized that it was time to head for Dan's place north of Booker. Dan's grandson, daughter and son-in-law graciously gave us the royal tour. The first thing we saw was the Waterloo Boy, then a gaggle of classic antique tractors and cars. Dan's museum was extremely interesting.

By now it was almost 8, and C. K. was antsy to get back to the show grounds to watch the square dancing. With an excellent caller from Stratford, Texas, square dance clubs from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico put on a three hour dance program. This is an annual affair with the association. It will long be remembered.

In the late hours of the night, we thanked Donald and Dan and everyone for their hospitality. We then proceeded to the motel for a good night's rest, and then the long trek home.

The Sunday show agenda is the same, except for non-denominational church services at 10 a.m.

Mr. Wilbanks notes that the Golden Spread Antique Machinery Association wishes to thank Mr. Baker for letting them use his report of their show.