Rt 3, Box 3722 Grayling, Michigan 49738
Ray Hall with a model of his great grandads sawmill. Ray's grandad, John Perry, built the model and, for years, brought it to the Buckley Show. Really saws small logs. Ray did a terrific demonstration.
And so What's your heritage? Musical, agricultural, factory, mechanical, seamanship, educational, etc, etc.
What did your granddad or great-granddad do? Or even your dad? Don't you, when you meet someone new, sort of wonder - what did he do? I usually find out if I'm around a person very long. My dad and granddad were both farmers although granddad almost wasn't. If he hadn't left Germany in his youth, he would almost certainly have been a brewer, as was his dad. Granddad wanted to be a farmer, so, off to U.S. he went where he could be what he wanted to be. His farm, near the town of Hadley, is still in the family. Brother Gene bought it from Dad. But I go there often. Some sixty years ago, I collected 'old' engines from around that neighborhood and brought them home where they were mostly in Dad's way. Oh well!
But I said 'heritage'. That is what quite a lot of engine shows are getting to be. When our Buckley show started, it was mostly a bunch of old engines out along the edge of Joe Rebman's woods. Guys just got together and ran engines. Not so today. There are all sorts of heritages. Perhaps not everything that one would find at all the shows but almost. For example, this year there were 3 folks that at one time or another were pounding iron. One, in particular, Gary Smith from Ossineke, was as fine a real blacksmith as I have seen in these late years especially for a young fellow. He could hammer out almost anything that the crowd would ask for. And along with doing it, he talked to the folks and told them about it. Was a good crowd there all the time. And up on the hill, near the front of the clubhouse, was a potter working, running the wheel. Making all sorts of dishes, cups, and bowls and things. Answering all questions and 'teaching'. In the clubhouse there were many more crafts in action. And others out around the grounds. All this at an 'engine show'?
For this year we rented some more land to the northwest for the flea market. Some say it has doubled in size maybe not quite. Still, no person could possibly cover all the flea market and see all the engine show in one day. Of that I am sure.
I will admit that we did have a problem this year. Was most upsetting to all of us. We couldn't handle the incoming traffic on Saturday fast enough. There were some miles of traffic lined up to get in and many couldn't. Some friends, who I had been after for a year to be sure to come to Buckley, third weekend in August, had gotten to within a couple miles then had to make a U-turn and go back home. Problem is fixed now. More land. More parking facilities, more of whatever it takes to handle any traffic.
No one here believe the attendance could have grown so fast. However, I'm told, other clubs have had similar growth problems. What with that many thousand folks around, and they all want to eat at the same time, all need bathroom facilities, and so many today need camping facilities, and they all want to see the show and we want them to be happy in all the above.
Early morning is, I think, a rather nostalgic time. Often a fog is covering the long valley of our show grounds. And through the fog come sounds of a steam whistle here and there some engineer bragging that he fired up real early or the clatter of a one lunger getting a good cranking. We park our camper right on the edge of gas-engine land and in sight of the pavillion where there is a line of folks getting a 'real' breakfast cooked by the Buckley Chamber of Commerce. All sorts of show sounds coming our way to flavor the third cup of coffee unhurried now but we'll be plenty busy right soon.
The club extended the sawmill building this year out over the hothead engine that I told you about last year. Changed a few other things in there too so the traction engines and larger gas tractors can still have a turn at the mill if they so wish. Had a Case 80 new to us this year. Produced plenty of power but I guess it used quite a bit of wood and water. Sam Zue fixed up a swing saw and conveyor for the slabs this year.
Made it better for the steam engines, most of which burn wood real good. We usually get by with only 2 or 3 tons of coal.
During the past year we had an offer from a young fellow from down near Grand Rapids who is a new member of the club. Named Wesley Scott. I'm often amazed at the sort of new members we get. Couple of years ago the club decided to slow down the 'new member' situation and concentrate on 'new working members'. Our working members really work before, during, and after the show. Physically and mentally. They're of all ages. Some come from near and some come from afar. Many bring campers days ahead and work. Anyway - back to Wes. About 10 years ago he removed a 350 HP Corliss engine from the Voit Flour Mill in Grand Rapids. Cleaned it up and stored it. Recently, it seemed to him that he should act on the situation. So he offered it to our club, on a lease basis I think, if we would set it up, cover it and run it. I'm not sure if the lease was one dollar a year for ten years or a dollar for ten years. Doesn't matter that much. Sam Zue and crew got right busy and poured a big bunch of cement with bolts in the right places and the project, the main project for '82, was underway. They also poured foundations for several other steam engines, compressors, steam well water pump and a condenser, and a new base for the boiler. And a lot of other things such as a long manifold and tables for the model steam engine folks. Then they called in a local contractor who erected a 40 by 62 foot building over it all. And more!
An old sawmill engine from an island in Lake MichiganA Gardener-Denver steam powered air compressor and in the rear a 350 HP Corliss. All running.
About a show like this. It is so dangerous to name names because some real important ones can so easily be left out. There is no way to pay honor and respects to all who deserve it. The many folks who are at the gates year after year, who lay out and park the flea market, who park engines and tractors, who prepare and serve the food, who order everything that the show needs. And many more. About a half dozen were at it almost day and night to get the new steam engine building going: parts, piping, fittings, timing, lighting, traffic and a million other things.
Our advertising says that the show stops at five o'clock PM. That's not really so. That's when supper starts. And lots of folks are still around their engines or exhibits and want to talk about them yet. And each night the pavillion is packed and running over with singing, square dancing, music of all sorts, until nearly past bedtime. Lots of food is still available. Some of the club fellows make 'hog-kettle' popcorn it is free. Steam engines put on a spark show. And more. Show is still third weekend in August. Gets going on Friday with senior citizens free. But I see campers coming in as early as Monday or Tuesday. And by Thursday there are lots of engines being tried out or run. And a couple thousand folks, I would guess, wandering around. Having fun. That's what it's all about. All ages of kids. Ma and Pa, Grandpa and Grandma. And some 'Greats' also. See you in '83.