The Williams County Fairgrounds at Montpelier, Ohio, provided the beautiful setting for the seventeenth gathering of steam fans of the National Threshers Association, Inc., when on the first day members from thirteen states and Canada registered, with many more coming in on ensuing days. Twenty-eight large steam traction engines were not only on display but were working, plus many models, Oil Pulls, gas tractors, etc. Eight engines participated in the ECONOMY TESTS, details of which will be published later on.
At the annual meeting honorary Life Memberships with certificates and gold-plated. lapel pins were awarded to Fred McPhail, still in Veterans Hospital, London, Ontario; and to B. J. Potter of Okemos, Michigan, the veteran engineer on W. Knapp's engines of Monroe, Michigan. Memorial services were conducted for twenty-two members by Chaplain Ritzman. Word came Friday morning of the passing away of Louis Baker, only son of the founder of the Baker Company, Mr. A. D. Baker, Swanton, Ohio. Although Although old Baker No. 1 was at the Reunion, the engineer young Scott Carson was of course absent, since he is the grandson of Louis Baker and great-grandson of A. D. Baker. 1960 was 'The Year of the Baker' and Mr. Louis Baker was made an honorary Life Member of NTA at that time.
Record crowds attended the women's programs and teas Thursday and Friday afternoons when cake decorating and flower arranging were demonstrated. First prize for floats in the parade was won by the Alvordton Methodist High School class, depicting a church scene, with the ladies of the congregation wearing authentic hundred-year-old costumes, loaned by Mrs. Stephen Green of Kendall, Michigan. The surprise float was the usual Threshing Day Dinner float, the surprise being the MEN at the table, who turned out to be members of the TNT, including the Chaplain's BETTER HALF, all of them wolfing down the food in typical threshers' hungry style. Some even interspersed puffs on enormous cigars with their food, which they stole from other plates if it looked desirable! Tsk, Tsk, Tsk!
As usual, Mac Keller sawed watermelons and logs intermittently, but the cold late Spring prevented ripening of the winter barley in time for the Reunion, which this year came as early as it ever does - the last full weekend in June. Since the dates next year will be June 28, 29 & 30, we have every reason to hope that the barley will be ripe for threshing at Reunion time. Last year, rain the day before the Reunion prevented the building of the double earthen incline, so we did not even advertise it this year. However, we did have it constructed and it was the scene of much activity from both the north and the south approaches. Two Baker fans were in use and the Prony brake was also constantly used in the Economy Tests, which arouse so much interest.
So once again we write FINIS to a successful NTA Reunion, when good fellowship and happy reunion with old friends lead us to feel it was good to have been there.
P.S. No report of the 1961 NTA Reunion is complete without mention of the Pre-Reunion excursion to Detroit, Dearborn and Windsor, which 46 people enjoyed to the utmost, and which was so successful we may repeat in 1962. Watch for further announcements.