NORTHWESTERN MICHIGAN SHOW

Engine shows

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Route 3, Box 3722, Grayling, Michigan 49738

It's about time. About time that I report again about our show. It is growing like many other engine shows. I sometimes wonder how much more it will or should grow. We own only 60 acres and I don't suppose we could buy any more land around us right now. At show time, with the usual show items, parking and camping, flea market, plowing area, etc., most every inch is used. Actually, most folks call ours the 'Buckley Show.' That's because it is held at Buckley, a little crossroads village a few miles south of Traverse City on M 37.

Not only have we grown, but changed. I have said before that in our beginning there were mostly old engines and tractors that were mostly looked at by mostly older men. Things are changed now. Whole families come. So, we have sort of 'swung with the punch.' We fill both floors of the club house with arts and crafts. We sponsor a monstrous flea market. Mrs. Martin spins wool all day. Mrs. Komornik paints pictures all day, and they both talk and teach and answer questions. We have that agreement with arts and crafts folks that they do their thing right there. They are encouraged to sell their works.

Another big plus we have: a lot of the younger folks are showing interest and effort and doing a terrific job. Nothing does my heart better than to see some older fellow stop by some teenager who needs a bit of help with a hunk of old iron.

Folks like a working show, I think. There are all sorts of museums where a person may parade by a row of silent stuffengines etc. These are fine and certainly they serve a purpose. But they don't compare with John Sandulas' Advance Rumely steamer being really worked at the sawmill where Sam Zue is 'pushing' a bit. And our sawmill runs and runs. Lots of logs and they just keep it going. They change power often and that is part of the show.

This year we put up a windmill and drove a well beneath it. Right near there is another well being pumped with a gas engine. That's where the public, horses, and oxen can get a good, fresh, cool drink of water.

Couple of the club members went 'west' and brought home an 8-bottom prairie plow for our big tractors. At least a couple times a day the bigger steam or gas tractors get a crack at it. Seems to me that the Nichols and Shepard gas tractor does about as well as any. But the 'steam folks' say no. It's successful entertainment anyway. And so is the horse plowing on the other side of the field with a pair of Wayne Osburnes' horses.

We still get pressured a bit at dinner time when several thousand folks want to eat at the same time. Ken Hittle and help run a real fine chicken barbecue on one side of the pavillion while Keith Galvin and crew are doing beef on the other side. There are, of course, a number of church and club operated eateries spread out over the grounds to help out.

Threshing power by Case, built and operated by Stan Miner. Opening page: Line-up of steamers. Note the 'new' windmill in the background.

We realize that a most important link in the success of the show is the group of contributors who aren't members. They labor year after year and spend countless dollars to perfect 'old stuff and thenand this is most importanttake time and effort to bring it to the show and display and run it. These folks make the show what it is. So, we do whatever we can to provide them with certain conveniences, and most of all, an audience. For what is such a product as a restored engine without an audience?

If we have a problem it is probably having enough workers. We just need more operators. Engines running have to be watched. A rope machine has to be run by someone. The shingle or shake splitter has to be used. The spinning wheel has to spin. Those operators need to answer questions and explain things. There is a darn good readon why the yarn that Mrs. Martin spins is better than the yarn that I spin. Mine is full of knots and bumps and fat and skinny places. She can tell a person why. And another item: sixty acres is quite a long ways for some folks to get aroundespecially if they are a bit older-and most of us tend to get older. So we put forth effort to provide some grounds transportation. Dick Harrison, a local farm machinery dealer, always has had a number of tractors in some spot with a sign. This year I convinced him to get some wagons with seats, put his company name on the side, and expose a few tractors. It worked! Dick is happy and so were the many riders. Al Hayhoe was there with his oxen and big old two-wheeled wagon giving mostly kid rides all day.

Many, many things go on each day. I won't attempt to name them all. So Mr. Engineman and family, we would be happy to have you visit us this summerthird weekend in August. See you there.