For many of us, the winter months are fast approaching. As the days shorten and the evenings grow longer, the glorious days of last summer, days of reunions and threshing, of steaming and plowing, seem all that much sweeter.
Fortunately, as we all know so well, the cycle will continue, and the next thing we know it will be spring; time to pull engines and equipment out of hibernation and prepare for yet another year of fun.
Along the way, someone invariably discovers another old engine or perhaps an abandoned thresher in need of care or restoration. The winter months tend to be the perfect time to work on those discoveries, a time when our calendars aren't quite so full and we can bury ourselves in the shop, diligently working away, preparing for the next round of shows.
As ever, we're preparing in our own way, busily getting the 34th Annual Farm Collector Show Directory ready for print. The process gives us an insider's view to the coming year, and it's looking to be another banner year for shows around the country.
Farm shows continue to build in popularity, a fact amply illustrated in the Directory, which will detail some 1,400-plus shows scheduled for 2008. The Directory will mail at the end of February, so get your order in now before the Jan. 18, 2008, "early bird" deadline. Not only will you save a few bucks, you'll make sure your copy of the Directory is reserved so you can plan out your 2008 show season. Call us toll free at (866) 624-9388 or order online at www.FarmCollectorShowDirectory.com
We'll have something else to look forward to, as well, and that's the impending publication of a new book on steam by regular contributors John Spalding and Robert T. Rhode. Titled The Great North American Steam Tractor, this will be one of the most important books to hit the steam community since Rhode's The Harvest Story: Recollections of Old-Time Threshermen, a fascinating collection of tales from the early issues of Iron-Men Album, and Jack Alexander's The First American Farm Tractors, an exhaustive study of early steam and gas tractors.
Featuring 400 vintage images culled from John's spectacular collection of period photos, and with background on every engine courtesy of Bob's insightful knowledge of steam history, the book will be a photographic history of steam engines and a valuable resource to anyone interested in steam traction engines and agricultural history.
Of course we'll be letting readers know once it becomes available, and when it does you can order the book straight through us (or through John's website at www.spaldingscorner.com). In the meantime, we hope the holiday season treats everyone well as we look forward to the New Year and a new round of shows and steam discoveries.
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