Dairyland Driftings

By Staff

One could hardly write a paragraph in the Fall-OYear without
reminiscing and reunions . . .

Luck came my way during hay season (or part thereof) . . . seems
Bill Nelson, Ophiem, Illinois, succumbed to the urge of going
fishing in our lake region. Being a close friend of Reuben Bohman
(Alpha, Illinois) invited him along. Evidently Reuben is not an
ardent fisherman. . . few steam fans are … so he stops at
‘the Johnson Place’ and got hooked in haying. He witnessed
the use of hay-slings and in putting up hay the ‘old way
‘and found as how the tempo is reduced on a mere ’12 cow
ranch’ With Reuben as an incentive, we decided to have a
‘Hay Day’ on the Fourth, and invited those of Early Day
interest for pot-luck and hay rides using different old tractors
and the case ’50’ to haul in the hay. Some 30 persons came
and it was the first genuine hay ride for many youngsters including
the Jake Maurer’s from Minneapolis. Food was plentiful and
Reuben solved one problem by making a couple of saw-horses and we
soon had an outdoor picnic table. Jake had his tape recorder along
for some ‘steam music’ and interviews to send to Art Clarke
in England. (Did you get it, Art?) Karl Marquardt had several gas
engines going including his 5hp Ottowa drag saw. As a finale we
lined up 15 old tractors for a picture, all in running order.

As for Bill and his fishing don’t know if Wisconsin needs a
bag-limit but he did sense there is a difference between fishing
and catching fish! I recall the time William Saters came up to do
some fishing, we had a hard time finding worms, much less catch
fish. At any rate, something tells me by next July they’ll be
‘hitting’ good, Bill.

Went with Jerry and Rickey Erickson on a tractor hunt. Bagged
two old-timers and one gas engine. Jerry landed a 20-30 Wallis,
No.64997, at Emerald. We then stopped at Paul Thoruds near
Connersville. He very obligingly started his 1906 – 1 cyl.
International 15 hp tractor, the oldest tractor I’ve seen
operate. Took some pictures and hit for Rice Lake. After some
dickering with the Case dealer, Rickey became the proud owner of a
12-20 Case, No. A317106.

Come mid-August, my steam threshing was in order. Jim Johnson,
Park Ridge, Illinois, did a splendid job as engineer, and with such
volunteer help as Harry Schachts, Eau Claire; Jerry Erickson,
Grantsburg; Louie Hendrichs, Steven Mortinsen, Frederic; Dick and
Dale Johnson (my nephews) we soon shelled out my 9 acres of Ajax
oats.

On Labor Day, Geo. Christian, my wife, Alice, and I
good-bye’d the cows and heads for Reunions. Our first stop the
‘steamerama’ Show at Austin, Minnesota. Every Rally is in
some respect different from the rest. Here was a lad nigh onto 14
years old, Jerred Rubel, in charge of his 22 hp return flue
Minneapolis Engine No. 6991 which is in near new condition, and
belted to the sawmill, using a top saw whittling boards outa’
some healthy cotton wood logs. Jim Rubel tells me next year this
engine will be, the Lord willing, belted to its old partner — a
Wood Mpls. separator with wing feeders and swinging slat stacker.
That, I gotta see! Here, too, was a nice collection of gas engines.
A dandy 4 hp Mogul side shaft engine owned and run by Larry
Neilson, Glennville, Minn., belted to a grist mill grinding ear
corn.

Our hopes had been to take in three different reunions on three
consecutive days, but were unable to engage a chore boy in due
time, as several shows are comparatively close together and all
held Labor Day weekend.

On Tuesday morning we dropped in on the remnants of the Hudson,
Iowa, show. A nice collection of items, indications of a good
performance. There I saw a Greyhound steamer for the first time,
apparently owned by Irma Warneke. On taking notes, serial numbers,
sizes, etc., that morning, I sez to George, ‘What’s the
date today’ — ‘Today is the 6th, now try to remember that
till noon at least’ –thus it goes, hardly a dull moment with
George along.

Next stop — Traer, Iowa where we evidenced remains of a much
bigger affair, with acres of modern machinery on display, a
speakers’ platform, and political papers strewn about, but a
fine array of old tractors, some 26 gas engines, four steamers and
several threshers. We did see some action here a 27-44 Twin City
tractor, No. 250062, sawing hardwood lumber using a Crabb mill.

Driving on, we over-nighted in Plainfield and the next stop at
Job Andersons, Washington, Iowa. Job sez it’s the cleanest town
if you aren’t clean when you get there, you will be when you
leave — (meaning what?) He farms an 80, same caliber as us’ns,
only he’s simplified his operations by catering to poultry
steada cows. (Would that my wife loved chickens, too!)

Arriving in McMillan Park (Mt. Pleasant) we set up George’s
tent for the ‘duration’ Sure enough there were his
‘nabers’ he met in ’59 the Lloyd Easters from Missouri
a happy occasion indeed. Rather high temperatures first two days of
the show. At least one elderly feller did sompin about it, and I
envied his courage, he walked about barefooted. That’s making
yourself at home, pardner!

It was sure great to be back among steam fans and friends. Glad
to meet up with Marcus Leonard of Salina, Kansas, and there was
Carlos Litten of Newark, Ohio. Seems he had been to Kinzers Reunion
and recognized a Mrs. Ebersol from whom he had bought some of that
tasty apple butter. At this point in the conversation I was
introduced to a charming couple, Nancy and Elmer B. Ebersol, Rt. 1,
Bareville, Pennsylvania. They were newlyweds and what an ideal way
to spend a honeymoon, I thought. Not quite so fortunate were
another pair of newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. George Martin from the Air
Force base in Wichita Falls, Texas. Flying a T34 single engine
trainer, had visited in our locality. Plans were to stop at
‘Midwest Old Threshers’ enroute back to Texas. Somehow the
landing gear hit a rough spot on the take-off from his
brother’s farm near Lewis, Wisconsin, and crippled the plane
forcing them to pursue other means of transportation back to the
Lone Star State nobody hurt, but missed the reunion. Better luck
next year you-all come!

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