FIRST THINGS


| October 2003

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    Jason B. HarmonJason B. Harmon

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There's no doubt that the people -not just the machines - make the old-iron community so special. Just take Dale Walker for instance.

Dale is a stationary gas engine collector who has attended the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion each year for more than two decades. I met Dale at the 53rd annual reunion held in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, during Labor Day weekend and walked away with a new understanding about why some people collect vintage farm equipment.

The 73-year-old collector doesn't have the biggest assortment of gas engines, or the most rare, but he definitely has some nice iron to share with others.

More than that, Dale has a family who shares his love of farm collecting and has made many good friends at shows through the years with others who also collect engines and farm machines.



'The people make it worthwhile,' Dale explains about why he attends the reunion and other shows since he bought his first gas engine in 1954.

For example, he says, if a stranger walks up and asks to borrow a tool or some gear oil on the show grounds, Dale complies without hesitation. That's because he knows the folks who display their tractors, engines and implements at shows are good people who can be trusted - and he's right.



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