First Things

Good Things in Small Packages

| October 2007

Sometimes, less is more. It's a lesson I learned after attending two super but very small shows.

At Farm Collector, time, budgets and stamina limit the number of shows we attend. Accordingly, we agonize over where to go, considering geographic diversity, featured equipment, demonstrations, airport proximity and show size. In the case of the latter, we generally opt for "big," hoping to get a big bang for the buck.

As it turns out, small shows can be just as good. This summer I was fortunate to drop in on the combined show of the North American Dairy Foundation and the hay tool collectors (see pages 36-39 of this issue). It's not a combination as immediately obvious as ham and eggs, but if not siblings, the groups are at least cousins.

A few weeks later I found myself in southeastern Colorado at the 19th annual International Windmillers Trade Fair, an event that resembled nothing so much as a family reunion, albeit one with a lot of windmills.

I could cover the physical area of either show in a lazy amble of about three minutes. But in the process I literally tripped over stunning relics of the past (the kinds of things that rarely make it to a big show), uncommonly friendly people and stories by the dozen.

With less hubbub comes more time to visit, learn and compare notes. There were no wristbands, no tractors pulling shuttles, no loudspeakers - just lazy summer days when folks of a like mind came together to share a common interest. No matter the size, every show has its own unique treasures … and good things do come in small packages.