Relax: The gent in the photo is not the new editor. But he is a sort of mascot for this issue. We’ll call him the Chairman of the Fun Department. He’s here to remind you that your hobby should be fun! It should be that tantalizing imp of an idea that skips around in your subconscious when you’re doing the things you have to do.
That said, not everything you do in your hobby will be like a day on the beach. Old iron is notoriously demanding. I have yet to meet the person, for instance, who becomes giddy at the prospect of sandblasting tractor parts. But if an accounting of your fun ratio turns up more dread than delight, it might be time for a change. If the mere thought of your inventory of works in progress makes you shudder, it may be time to do something different.
In this issue, you’ll meet folks who are having fun with their hobby. Woody Cone enjoys the challenge of restoring implements. His first step? Research. He learns all he can about the piece before he puts a hand on it. He doesn’t have space to house a big collection, so the pieces he works on often go to other homes, but he’s still having fun.
The Mitchell family of Kindred, North Dakota, pours considerable time and effort into getting a 1913 Gaar-Scott steam engine ready for a show every summer – and it’s not even their engine. It’s clearly a labor of love, but they wouldn’t do it if they weren’t having fun.
And there’s no doubt that collector Ronn Dillavou is having fun. Amassing a broad collection of farm relics, he has fun with the hunt, the restoration and the display. And he does it his way; he makes his collection meet his needs, not the other way around.