FIRST THINGS


| January 2003


I was sitting in the grandstand at the the Golden Horseshoe Show last summer in Caledonia, Ontario, waiting for the tractor parade to start when I fell victim to a roving master of ceremonies. In concert with a trio of country musicians on stage, he was killing time for a crowd of about 200 while the parade was lining up.

Sitting next to me was my host for the day, and as it turned out, he sure knew an opportunity when he saw one. He commandeered the willing MC, microphone in hand, and introduced me to the crowd: 'Nancy Smith, editor of Farm Collector magazine, come all the way from Kansas to cover the Caledonia show.'

The next thing I knew, the musicians on stage were playing 'Home on the Range' (at MY request!) and the brave ones in the grandstand were singing along. My husband, who had gone across the show grounds to get some drinks, heard the familiar strains and knew something was up.

The worst wasn't over yet, though. Next, that MC - resourceful to the last - asked me to describe the magazine for the crowd, which I did, and then he put 'em to the ultimate test: 'How many of you here are acquainted with Farm Collector?' he asked. Nobody raised a hand, except my host, of course. You know that silence can be deafening, right? Well, that pretty much describes our predicament - the MC and me - at that precise point in time.



And then here came Larry Stirtzinger, jogging right down that track to the grandstand, smiling broadly and brandishing an actual copy of the magazine in his upraised hand. Talk about a friendly face in a crowd! Larry sure was mine at that moment in time. He'd set up as a vendor at the shows and had been listening to our little broadcast from his stall. It took him a minute to get from there to us in the grandstand, but he did it in style. Then, he just turned and jogged right back to his vendor's spot. I followed, of course, and he gave me the story of his 1958 Case, which you can read about in our February issue. Thanks, Larry, for the story and for being there. Every person in that crowd, including my favorite MC, sure knows about Farm Collector now!















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