Steam Engine Show Proud Reminder of Midwestern Heritage

Midwestern heritage shines at the Pioneer Engineer Club's Steam Engine Show

| October 1998

  • FC_V1_I3_Oct_1998_19-1.jpg
    The Case tractor that transported Patricia to back to her roots.

  • FC_V1_I3_Oct_1998_19-1.jpg

It was the first weekend in August , which also happened to be around the anniversary of my parents' wedding. I knew what that meant. I would be asked if I wanted to attend the Pioneer Engineer Club's annual Steam Engine Show in Rushville, Ind., with the family. I had been to the show nearly every year for the first 15 years of my life. I was slightly interested. But given the sweltering temperatures and the exhausting Indiana humidity, I was not excited about going this year.

I had planned to help a friend move into her house that weekend, and was looking forward to giving both my parents and myself a little break from each other (I had just returned to their nest after living in Los Angeles for seven years). However, I said I would try to meet them on Sunday before the show closed.

As I cruised up the exit ramp off I-74 in my Hyundai with California plates, I hadn't decided if I was getting gas, or actually following the route to Rushville. That is, until I found myself explaining to the parking attendant "...I really don't need to pay, because my father is a member he has a little antique Case tractor with red wheels he's on the other side of the arena and he meant to leave me the pass but I couldn't find it so I left the house without it because the parade was going to start and I didn't want to miss it and I could bring it back to prove it if you would just let me in..." Then I realized this was not L.A. Everything was going to be ok.

"Go ahead. I believe you," the parking attendant said, and he did.

I drove past the first attendant who hollered to the next one, who was taking tickets.

"She's with a member," he said. "She left her pass at home!"