Rough & Tumble Report

Peerless engine

Clarence Wile, of near Landisville, Pa., operating the next-to-last Peerless engine ever made, at Rough & Tumble Reunion, 1974. Steam gas photo.

Content Tools

Box 146, Mt. Royal, New Jersey 08061

I think that the 26th show of the Rough and Tumble should be placed on record as being the largest and most interesting since the organization was founded. Even the mid-week days were exceptional as compared to other years, and the week-end days were almost to the limit.

Three new additions were added this year, the first being the new driveway. This has been constructed from the lower entrance, all the way along the property line and back to the tractor pull site, giving a far easier access to the rear parking area. Vehicles can now come and go far quicker than with the old congested system, and the parking in the front left for members and exhibitors.

The second addition is a 60 x 40 cinder block model building with plenty of tables. To complete this by show-time was quite a rush, but by the vigor and efforts of Messrs. Mc Vey and Montgomery and all of the other members connected with it, the tables were filled and the models ran. Thursday I saw Walt Kleinfelder still cranking in steam line fittings, Larry Parker wiring up for watts and R. J. crawling around somewhere up in the rafters running a roll of Romex, Our old model shed looked rather bare for the first couple of days but by Saturday afternoon, this too was full. Never had I seen such a collection of models and I am sure that it must be one of the largest, or even the largest in the country.

Our other addition was a 100 ft. run of elevated model railroad track to accommodate 1 in. and 3/4 in. scale model steam operated locomotives. Frank Vintschger brought along a cute little Mogul 2-6-0 in 3/4 in. scale and how amazed the folks were to see this little engine that weighs not more than 30 lbs. stride off with Frank at the throttle and 'Tiny Miller' sitting behind as passenger. I took along my 1 in. scale Hudson and after I had the safety lifting, I found myself hauling the children and the not so bashful grown-ups too. My hope is that for our next reunion we can have more enthusiasts in this field that will bring along their engines, then by working out a roster, we can have trains running all day long. A nice oval track would have been great so that we could have continuous running but I must leave this to future enthusiasm.

My job for this year was to see that 'Little Toot' was kept rolling and roll the passengers we did. Three young fellows: Scott, Grant, and Tim made an excellent engine crew plus the fact that the painting and dolling up that they did, showed an interest that isn't often found these days. Such as this restores one's trust in the young besides the knowledge that steam is still in good hands. The brass was all polished and the headlight was fixed, and this inspired me to construct a small turbine generator. There was no time to complete it for the show, but I know that for another, this little addition will be affixed to 'Little Toots' steam dome and singing its steady tune.

Here before me is a list of officers and their helpers who performed wonderfully, and I think that a run down of this list is worthy.

Clyde Burkholder and Roy Barr took care of the antique cars and several there were. I did not make a count nor list the makes of them, but that wasn't all; besides these were 2 aircraft engines, one a Jacobs radial, beautifully restored on a stand and running. I would suggest that next year we refrain from calling this the antique car division and rename it the antique transportation division, for this is what it really was. There was an old 'penny farthing' bicycle, a fairly old motorcycle and a fabulous exhibition of such beautifully restored engines as I have ever seen.

Our rest rooms were taken care of by the McGinnis family that reside in the farm house. This is no easy job for trying to remove gobs of 600W from the men's washbowls needs lots of Ajax and elbow grease. I understand that Kenny Moore did manage to complete the shower in the ladies section. You must admit though, that for a modest man trying to do a job in a ladies rest room during a steam reunion, is far from easy.

My wife helped Willis Hershey take care of the gift shop and for the first time in many years, he was able to catch on a few tales with some of his old acquaintances.

A bingo game was held by Mrs. Frantz between the presidents trailer and the new model railroad. Did Mrs. Walt say that it was a one on her card, or was it an oily sooty smudge from my Hudson?

Frank Vintschger had charge of the museum's Avery and one of his helpers had the headlight working with a railroad turbine generator. This was very effective after dark. I am waiting for someone to take an American traction engine, doll it all up with a full length canopy, fit a big generator over the front of the smoke box, and viva, we will have the first USA built showman's engine.

Ray Martin, Paul Nolte and the Hershey girls took care of the gates and the memberships, and considering the attendance, they must have been busy. This year there were two gates to take care of, instead of the one as has been the case other years.

In charge of the sawmill was Al Kutzner and his helpers Howard Broomall and Herb Niederer, and what a job they did to that mill. I had cause to go down with the front end loader for a few new railroad ties and the way those boys had the place cleaned up was well worth comment.

As always, John Mast took care of the shingle mill, and inside of 'Little Toot's' track circuit, the early threshing and baling was in the good hands of Amos Stauffer and Elmer Lapp. The power for the very old thrasher was supplied by Elmer's fine set of Belgian horses, and to see them going round and round, turning the sweep inside of a round building, gave one the feeling that a merry-go-round was in motion with real live animals. There is no doubt that these horses are beautiful; so much muscle and brawn, so majestic and yet so gentle and intelligent. I heard many comments about them, and the children, including my little grandson, loved them. I am positive that our veteran thrasherman, Harvey Hoffman, was feeding the wheat sheaves into the thresher and Tiny Miller was pitching the straw into the ox-drawn wagon. Amidst the straw on the wagon I suddenly saw a white hat appear; I knew that Amos had to be under there somewhere loading it, because I could see the fork handle moving.

The other animals I saw were some nice little ponies belonging to our executive R.J. On Friday afternoon, it was amusing to see R.J. running around looking for a blow-out patch for one of his pony cart wheels. No wonder there was a flat after seeing Ira Hall and those other three heavy guys taking a ride around the grounds.

The large threshing set up, steam traction engines and the old Scheidler engine were commanded by Titus Brubaker, Jr. I cannot say too much about them as only once did I go down into the area, and this was to help Frank V. move the old Avery into position for the Thursday evening parade. I saw a beautiful Case, a return flue Huber and a Peerless that looked rather like a Pennsy K4. Ted Gowl from Maryland brought along a nice half size engine and drove it up to the Model area especially for me to see. What a nice job it is.

Dan Brubaker, our president, kept the H20 flowing for both steam and domestic purposes and with the many boilers that needed filling, the well must have been working full force. Dan had his freshly painted 1921 Packard truck in operation and loaded with bales of wheat straw. I did not get to see a parade, but I did hear that Dan did manage to break away from endless demands and drive the truck through. This man's job is a tough one, and without his tolerance, tact, and ability to appease, I might not be writing this report.

With the many small gas engines, it is a wonder how Ira Hall and Sam Kriebal ever kept track of them. Looking down the lines, it looked as if a carnival was going on because everyone had a brightly colored sunshade up. Next thing you know, these boys will all be building large fans for their engines to drive, and for them to keep cool by.

Everett Young, Lew Frantz and Mark Stauffer took care of the parades, and from all I heard, each day had a long one. Sargeant Estleman would have been announcing them yet had all the old tractors had a number. Walt Kleinfelder drove my 10-20 McCormick Deering through on Friday and my son-in-law on the Saturday.

Our safety engineer and fire truck operator, Ed Margerum, had the Ahreans Fox running. I am not sure whether he took it through the parade, but by the way I heard it ticking over, I couldn't see why not. Tractors were taken care of by Cal Stoltzfus and John Nafzinger, and what the count was I have no idea.

In the large engine room, Paul Krumm was boss, but I was sorry to hear from him of his family problem. The Skinner wasn't quite so highly polished this year but Paul just did not have the chance to rub and shine as he usually does. I saw Ellis Platt carefully wiping and taking care of the large steam compressor, watched Larry start the Ames Uniflow, then I bummed a dixie cup of oil from Leroy Ebersoll while both the Corlisses were warming up.

The remainder of the list included Larry Parker as our electrical engineer, Otis Astle and Walter Harris on the rock crusher, with Roger Kriebel in the large gas engine department. From the start of the program in the morning until it ended each evening, Mr. W. Eshleman kept everyone well informed of every activity. His knowledge of all the pieces of equipment and his ability to explain their functions made the visitors certainly feel that they had gotten their monies worth. The daily blessings were given by the Rev. McCleif, and the first aid station was manned by the Gordonville Ambulance Assoc.

Some of the other exhibitors and model makers are worth mention and my first is Bill Enfield and his collection of hydraulic ram pumps. All of them, including the little tiny one that almost fits in a thimble, was splashing away for the whole 4 days. Bill Rader had his nice little 2 in. scale traction engine fired up, and Rudy Kouhoupt had both of his nationally famous little traction engines running up and down the model table. Ray Peck from Connecticut brought along his 1 in. scale Case and Bob Roberts from Maryland had his large model Ferris wheel in operation. The steam driven carousel model was a nice attraction, but I am sorry that I did not get the builder's name.

One very interesting exhibit was Bill Payne's collection of old German steam operated toys. These were all in a nice condition and Bill even brought along his own display case. A lot of work here was involved, but I can assure Bill that it was well appreciated. Our old friend, Frank from Ocean City, Maryland, had a nice compound two cylinder marine running and I noticed that Clayt L. had his well-made Stuart 5 working outside on the Groffdale table. Moses Stauffer was making his own steam as he usually does, and thanks for the coal, Mose, I had no trouble with my Hudson on Saturday.

To conclude, I know I have left out a lot of people but to mention everyone would be an impossible job. From all I could tell, everyone was happy and that's the main thing. We had excellent weather, although I was told some neighboring towns were almost rained out. Someone was looking out for us I guess. Now the model tables are empty and all the old tractors are silent, but for many of us, the events were either recorded by slides or movies, so that during the coming winter months, we can sit back and look at them and say, -boy, what a show that was!

P.S. Clayt Longenderfer wants Santa Claus to bring some coal!!!