The 21st annual Reunion of the National Threshers Association, Inc., held at the Fulton County Fairgrounds near Wauseon, Ohio, was considered by many to be the best such event held so far. Not only did Mother Nature cooperate by providing almost perfect weather, but the fine surroundings and adequate facilities lent an air of suitability that would be hard to equal. Thirty large and many smaller engines furnished the main interest of the event, and this Reunion has always been credited with the greatest number of good engines well run of any such gathering. 1965 was no exception, and keen interest was shown in the several 'new' engines present. Of course tho it is primarily a steam show, Oil Pulls, gas tractors and models of every description are always present and always welcomed. Antique cars also were present in the largest display ever seen at this Reunion, when the Antique Car Club of Northwest Ohio presented an interesting program in front of the grandstand Sunday afternoon before the parade. Antique farm machinery was brought in in unexpected numbers, and with some of it rare and some beautifully restored, this bids fair to be an even more important facet of the Reunion next year. Another innovation was the horseshoe pitching tournament, which went on at the beautifully landscaped courts in a most successful manner. Perhaps landscaping is the outstanding feature of these Fairgrounds, probably because of the interest in this field of the caretaker, whose wife also runs a flower shop. In keeping with this emphasis by the Fair Board, in making the grounds a 'Showplace', we expect to have the incline landscaped before next year. As it stands, it is considered to be 'The Best Incline in the Country', and we hope to make it the 'Best-looking'.
Sawing and threshing are two chief activities of any steam show, but winter barley was a poor crop in this locality, so the threshing was limited this year. However, the activity at the sawmill more than made up for that lack, as 5000 feet of lumber was sawed, with many engines furnishing the power. An edger and a buzz saw were also run by engines and a crowd was always found around the mill, now permanently installed and soon to be covered with a permanent building. As a part of the agreement with the Fulton County Fair Board, threshing and sawing will be performed on 'NTA Day' at the Fulton County Fair September 9.
A feature of every NTA Reunion has always been the opening ceremonies. This year Troop 8, Wauseon Boy Scouts, faithfully officiated at the raising of the flags at 10 o'clock each morning. To see the red, white and blue of Old Glory, with the blue and gold silk banner of the NTA and below that the green and gold TNT banner, float from the 50 foot flag pole in the center of the infield against the intense blue of the sky, while all stood at attention for the playing of The Star Spangled Banner and the invocation by Rev. Elmer Ritzman, was a sight that at least one spectator will not soon forget. Official welcome was given Thursday morning by the presidents of the Fair Board and the Chamber of Commerce.
An impressive sight was four Baker fans anchored to a large light pole near the center of the infield, with four steam engines all turning the different fans at the same time. Plans are under way for the formation of 'Baker 500 Club', with membership open to all engineers whose engines can turn a Baker fan 500 RPM.
Another interesting feature of this year's Reunion, slated to be more important next year, was a friendly competition between modern John Deere tractors and other older tractors on the Prony brake. The new John Deere 4020 Diesel tractor turned the Baker fan 560 RPM's or 93 horsepower, but did not put out as much horsepower on the Prony brake as a 22-36 McCormick Deering farm tractor with a 450 cubic inch 6 cylinder International motor. So much interest was evidenced in this feature this year, it is planned to invited many more dealers to demonstrate the power of the new giant tractors that are appearing in greater numbers each year on the farms of the region.
Sunday morning services were well attended and the sermon of Chaplain Ritzman, the music of the Gospel Harmonaires, the Tri-State Gospel Singers and the baritone Guy P. Laubis all made up a most inspiring service. Four parades, two band concerts, musical programs, women's programs and teas, were other features of a well-rounded overall program, in the opinion of many members.