Rt. 2, Marietta, Ohio 45750
We knew that if we kept trying it would have to happen sooner or later. We finally had a show at Barlow that was blessed by a little dust. Previous shows had been plagued by rain and mud. Nothing dampens the spirit much more than a soggy steam show, but thankfully this year we operated at a dry, happy, peak capacity.
As for the show proper, first a word about the traction engines. We owe a great big thanks to Edgar and Bill Flowers of Adena, Ohio. One of the engines we had been counting on canceled out near show time and on less than a week's notice Edgar and Bill readied their massive Greyhound engine for its first cutting of the year. How rewarding it is to work with such fine people who understand the meaning of helping one another. It appeared that Bill was really enjoying himself as the Greyhound labored effortlessly against the less-than-demanding load of the old wooden Peerless thresher.
John James was present again this year with the immaculate 50 HP Case. John spent a great deal of time on the sawmill and the Huck Brothers gave him quite a workout. As usual, the Case was equal to the task and the nearly perfect combination of engine and mill proved to be a real crowd pleaser.
While on the subject of combinations, we should mention that John McDowell brought his Baker engine and Power Bug to our show for the fourth straight year. There's a threesome that's hard to beat. It's obvious that John respects his engine in every way. I have yet to see him abuse that Baker in any way. It's too bad such statements can't be made about all operators.
Glenn Krofft brought his dwarf Russell engine along and really put it to the test. He claims to have nearly melted the bearings out of the Baker Fan. We're grateful he recognized the problem before the fan caught fire. Don't ever ask Glenn what the purpose of a Baker Fan is you will regret it. Glenn deserves much credit for ungrudgingly changing his haul plans for us at the last minute. Hauling those engines is a thankless task and many shows in this area rely heavily on Glenn's expertise and knowledge.
Regrettably, Francis Young was unable to be with us due to previous commitments, but his son, Mel, kept steam up in the portable Russell and supplied more than enough power to the Eli belt-powered baling press. The stationary engine and stationary baler were a good match for one another and provided the spectators with a slightly different visual experience.
Last, but certainly not least, let's not forget the hand-crafted model of Jim Robison's. That engine is a real piece of workmanship and Jim deserves all the accolades we can heap on him. The grapevine has it that Jim's buddy, Walton Shockey, had a hand in the development of that beautiful piece of machinery.
A large and varied display of gas tractors with very little duplication of models added immeasurably to the show again this year. Heart field thanks are extended to those who hauled in heavy tractors from a distance. Only those of us who have lugged planks around show after show can appreciate the efforts of the tractor exhibitors. Similar expressions of gratitude must also be offered to the owners of the more than 200 gas engines on display. Most of the gas engines came from Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania one man drove over 300 miles to participate. One particular gas engine was in operation both days for the purpose of grinding cornmeal. Raymond McIntyre brought his engine and mill all the way from Cottageville, West Virginia, to help us out. That store-bought cornmeal can just stay on the shelf as far as I'm concerned.
One feature of our show that is fairly unique as far as Ohio shows go is the horse-powered baler. Glen Matthews and son, Larry displayed the 1904 model International for the fourth straight year. One point should be emphasized this is a working display and the power was furnished by the beautiful Belgian team owned by Louis Arnold. People are really fascinated by this aged marriage of horse and machine.
This year a 'steam table' was available for those with model steam engines. Our secretary, Gary Arnold, spent the spring before building up a boiler to supply the steam and he made sure there was plenty of it available both days. We want to be sure to encourage anyone with model engines to show up for our 1978 show. There will be plenty of space since one of the table engines of last year now has a boiler of its own. Gary built up a very unusual portable model with this engine to supply power to his model Eli baler. What a team that will be for our next show!
Also displayed this year was a restored 4-team horse power. Harold and Jay Haines brought this item to the show and rumor has it that they now have a ground hog thresher to go with it. Apparently, the thresher needs some work and may not be at the show for a year or two, but this is really something to anticipate.
Several other items of interest included Clovis Watkin's live steam calliope (what a treat it is to hear the music that can be coaxed from that mass of iron and brass); the band organ of CMT Enterprises; and a local group of clowns which made an appearance for the kids (young and old) Saturday evening. Both the band organ and the clowns were paid for by our active ladies' auxiliary at no expense to the show profits. A large outdoor flea market and three buildings of arts and crafts provided additional enjoyment for all especially the ladies. This year we had a free shuttle bus from the parking lot over the show grounds for the benefit of the elderly and the handicapped. And finally, after four years, we got a really fine PA system. It cost us a great deal more, but it surely was worth it.
At 6:00 P.M. Saturday evening we used Bill Flower's manifold for a whistle blow. The Greyhound engine supplied the steam and even that huge boiler has trouble keeping up with the great demand. Again, we want to encourage anyone with a loose whistle to bring it along next year what good's a whistle if you can't hear it?
Following the whistle blow, at 9:00 P.M. we held a free square dance open to the exhibitors and the public. On Sunday morning there was a non-denominational church service which was well attended. The final climax of our two-day extravaganza was a grand parade of all moving stock on Sunday afternoon at 4:00. Dean Zimmer did an excellent job of describing the equipment as it rolled by.
Perhaps I should briefly mention our food stands. The ladies' auxiliary of our steam club had one stand with sandwiches and snacks. The ladies' auxiliaries of our two co-sponsoring volunteer fire departments (Fearing Township and Barlow) jointly operated a second food stand with full meals. There certainly was plenty to eat for anyone who wanted it.
In closing I want to mention that the Barlow Fair Board is currently clearing more ground which will be available to us in two or three years. Anyone who has followed the growth of our show in our four years of existence, knows that we are rapidly running out of room, so this will be a welcome improvement.
I have tried to carefully detail last year's show, but it is impossible to list all of the contributors that would mean listing all club members and their wives, exhibitors and spectators. Our show was a huge success due to the efforts of hundreds of people. Many thanks to all and see you at Barlow, July 1 and 2, 1978.