36th Annual Tri-State SHOW

| July/August 1990

1026 Kearney, Manhattan, Kansas 66502

The last Thursday of July once again found Bird City, Kansas bustling with the clatter of gears, the hissing of steam, and the flapping of belts amid the billows of coal smoke rising in the morning sun. It's all fun and excitement between the sunflower and grain fields of downtown Kansas, as the Tri-State Antique Engine and Threshers Association Show begins its four day festival.

One thing you can count on at Bird City is there's always a steam engine to ride on. These engines are always kept clean so a visitor won't get his duds all sooted up. An engineer licensed in Kansas is required on the engine at all times while it's under pressure, but if you're tall enough to reach the throttle you can get a chance at driving. Some of the shows don't seem to have enough time or room for such things, but at Bird City there's always a ride.

The members of the Tri-State Antique Auto Club were at the show as usual. Their museum is full of polished up vintage autos and their parade of cars, trucks and other assorted vehicles is more impressive than most I've seen in large cities.

The indoor antique exhibit of life on the high plains got a brand new building this year but, as the show grew, it took no time at all to fill. The collections and exhibits pertaining to indoor life during the Pioneering Days just seem to get bigger and more interesting each year as more people participate. If a person wants to know how something was done or what it was done with, it's all here. Almost every trade or professional skill is represented along with items of household chores, leisure and entertainment.

Well it seems every year I sleep a little later, and some of the guys wonder if I'll get the Russell warmed up in time for the morning races. Well, I'll tell you one thing, that Russell is one easy engine to fire and I may be the last to light a match in the morning, but I haven't been late for the morning races yet! The afternoon parade, however, is another story. When the kitchen is open, you can count on old Ralph being in the dining hall firing his personal boiler with that world famous home baked Bird City pie. The only kind of pie I don't eat is magpie, and the ladies don't serve it anyway! It seems the parade is well underway when I hear a whistle and I go off toward the firing line with a slice of pie in each hand.