P. O. Box 92 Portersville, Pennsylvania 16051
On August 17-20, 1988, the J. I. Case Heritage Foundation held their 2nd annual J. I. Case Exposition. What a wonderful show this was! There were all sizes of the Case steam engines including Willis R. Abel's 1912, 32-110HP Case engine, and George Hedtke's 1904, 150HP Case boiler. Leroy Walker had his newly restored 1913 80HP Case there also. Most all other sizes of Case engines were there including the 75, 65, 50, 45, 40, 36 center crank, 30, and a 50HP portable and a 10HP portable. All sizes of gas tractors were there too. Mr. J. I. Case Company (Harry Kline) brought the factory whistle from the J. I. Case factory and he also brought a Lunkenheimer whistle which was mounted on the 150HP Case boiler.
But for me, the best part of the whole show was meeting all of the wonderful 'Case People'. People like George Hedtke, Chaddy Atteberry, Emil Svanda, Mark Knox, Carl Tuttle, Don and Gary Bradley and dozens of others. One person who I did not expect to meet was Mark Knox. Mark owns a 1912 110 HP Case which he acquired from Emil Kudlacek. I have two letters from Emil who still has a 65 HP Case and an 80 HP Case. I sure do hope to meet Emil someday soon. Mark and I sure had a nice talk about Case engines especially 110's. He showed me pictures of the 110 he has which is almost finished. Another wonderful 'Caseman' I talked with was Chady Atteberry. Chady and I talked about the 1st Expo and other engines also. It seems to me that in the past few years everybody has been cutting down Case engines. I like all engines no matter what make they are. All engines have good qualities. For example, if the Frick Company was the largest maker of traction engines, everybody would be picking on the Frick engine because it would be more popular than the engine which they own. If I had an engine I would be proud of it just like anybody else. I don't think it's right to pick on somebody else's engine. Anyhow, Chady and I really had a nice talk and I surely do hope we will meet again soon.
Probably one of the funniest men I ever met was George Hedtke from Davis Junction, Illinois. George and his close friend Emil Svanda told some wonderful stories about 'the good ole days'. I like to listen to the older steam men the most. That is where I get most of my experience on how to run steam engines. It is important for a young 16-year old like me to get as much experience as I can.
I especially like to listen to George talk about the late Justin J. Hingtgen and the trip which they took to New Rockford, North Dakota Show several years ago. George and I have corresponded for a few years and I certainly enjoyed meeting my 'true friend', George Hedtke. I also talked to a nice lady who works for the IMA magazine. I told her I was going to write a story after the show was over. I didn't catch her name but I wish I did. Maybe she'll recognize this story when it is printed.