MY TWO DAYS AT HICKORY OAKS

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370 Greenfield Circle, Santa Rosa, California 95405

Going through the Iron Man Album, I came upon notice of George Hedtke's steam show for August 7-10. I said to the Mrs., 'Get your bag packed. We are going to the steam show. At the same time we can see our granddaughter and great-grandson who live in Rockford, Illinois.' I rushed down to the travel agency for tickets.

We boarded one of those American Airlines DC-10'syou know the ones that have the 10' cracks. Well, I took along a few bandaids in case the cracks became any larger. We were bound for O'Hare Airport in Chicago. That DC-10 is a great airplane!

We were met by our granddaughter and her husband and our great-grandson, Benjamin, 2 years old. In two hours we were in Rock-fordonly 13 miles from Hickory Oaks.

August 7th I was at the beautiful parkhuge trees and rolling grounds. I was like a kid (of course, I didn't run as fast!) trying to take it all in at once. I said to myself, 'I'm going to see what George Hedtke and Harry Woodmanse look like.' I had seen pictures of them and had no trouble finding them. I found them to be really nice fellows.

George has a fine lot of old farm machinery, Case tractors and steam engines. The nice part is that they all run.

The big Case 110, the grand old lady nothing seems to bother her no matter how much you tie on behind. But I think George should ease up a little on her say ten plows. Those old gears can get metal fatigue kind of like my old bones.

The Case road roller was a pretty sight. The Avery 80 looked like new. The same for the big Aultman Taylor 30-60. All those beautiful horses were a sight to behold.

There were a couple of models there. The little Reeves and the saw mill were beautiful pieces of work. So was the little vertical engine with the little upright baler. Well, everything was just great!

I came back Saturday and went through the whole thing again. The food was good, the ladies at the gate were real nicealso the ladies that sold the baskets. I bought two or three to take back to the little women for a peace offering.

I gave the register a quick glance and found a party from Davis, California about 80 miles from Santa Rosa, California, also a party from Japan. I had a great time! George Barring came on crutches, 'See you next year!'

I came from the last year of the last century. I have been through the walking plow stage, gang plow and the one-row cultivator to pulling milkweeds out of oat fields on up through the Waterloo Boy and the Case 15-27 on through the Reeves 20 HP. Simple into six-bottom plows and threshing machines. It is still lots of fun to see the old farm machinery in action again.