Vice-Pres., and Pat Cross, Resident of Antique Acres
Well, here we are again, at the end of another very busy and exciting year. With all the engines and machinery bedded down in the huge sheds for the long winter months, the old Acres seems pretty deserted and there's a touch of loneliness in the air, but yet a feeling of a job well done.
The year started out with our rye and oats crops being very good again, and since rye ripens early, it gives us the same as two harvests. By the time the oats are cut, the shocks of rye are ready to thresh. This is good, because during this time we are open as a museum, and threshing before the show gives added attraction. It helps the old threshermen get limbered up and have a chance to try out their machines. We also get an idea of what yield to expect.
The first day of the show we used bundle wagons and a 36-58 Case machine with Sattley Stacker. This is quite a novelty these days. Saturday and Sunday we threshed from stacks with my Rumely 32-56 wing feeder machine. However, it gave us trouble, getting sticks in the grain wagon, and on Monday morning, we opened up the rearend to find one chaffer had partly give away due to dry-rotting of the wood frame. Having still four stacks to go for one day of show, we used two steam rigs, smaller machines, and ran two rigs at the same time.
For 1971, the Rumely needs an overhauling, and I hope to have it ship-shape by show time, as wing feeders are quite a novelty in Iowa and wonderful for stack threshing, as they reach out over the stack and are easy to pitch into.
Since one must keep making threshing shows more attractive, we try to get something new and different to add to the Acres each year. My sons and I purchased an 18 hp. Wood Bros, steamer, and my son, Ray, came from New Jersey to run it. She is a real looker and performer and he sure kept it busy.
Along with beautiful weather and attendance being good, we again had a wonderful turnout of friends from all over the United States who came to help us with our show. So each year it seems like a big family reunion at the Acres.
Mr. Donald Deutch of Baxter, Iowa, had his 22 hp. Rumely at the show and it is a real performer.
Mr. and Mrs. Art Robinson of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, had a scale model shingle mill and gas engine here with it. He sawed red cedar shingles. Mrs. Robinson proved to be a great assistant in the sales booth. Always glad to see them each year.
Also, with us again was Mr. Arnie Slindy of Lyle, Minn. He operated the Smolik Bros. 40-140 Reeves Cross compound plow engine. He is 80 years young and did a beautiful job.
Mr. Marlin Hillhouse of Iowa Falls, Iowa, Mr. Nelson Lord of Bradford, Iowa, Mr. Henry Lebacken of St. Cloud, Minn., and Mr. H. M. Herron of Lake City, Minn., were among our engineers and always on the job. Thanks a lot boys!
Another fine addition to our show was Rev. Dick Seversen of the Mission Farm at Wilson, Wise, and his very able assistant Mary Kae Rohner. They had their Gospel Tent on the grounds and with Brother Dick on the banjo, Mary Kae on guitar, Bro. Dick's son on the drums, Mrs. Lou Kruger from Columbia, Missouri, on the organ, and everyone joining in the singing, it sort of let everyone know that something besides threshing was important. They had a short service each evening and a Sunday morning service, with a full house at every one. They also put on short entertainment sessions on the speakers stand during the day. In the evenings after prayer service, the tent was used to show slides and steam show movies, but then would end with music and everyone joining in. They even persuaded me to do one of my 'rare appearances' on the drums. We really have fun at Antique Acres. Thank you very kindly, Rev. Seversen and Mary Kae.
Sister Martha Ann of St. Mary's Convent of Waterloo, Iowa, was at the show. She assisted in the sales booth and on the Wood Bros, during the parade. A couple weeks after the show, she brought her 60 pupils out to the grounds for an outing and did they have fun. They later sent me letters and crayon drawings, and to see them, you know it must have been educational.
The day before the show opened, Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Blaker of Alvorton, Ohio, dropped in for a few hours visit. Very fine people!
Also with us for a couple days were George Hedke and Emil Svanda of Kings, 111. They had some beautiful slide pictures with them. If at all possible, I want to attend their show in '71.