| July/August 1981

The first annual reunion of the Mad River Steam and Gas Show was held at the Champaign County Fair-grounds, Urbana, Ohio, July 17, 18, 19, 20, 1980. In my 30 plus years of attending reunions, these grounds rate among the most pleasant of all!

Characteristic of most shows starting in mid-week, things were a little slow the first day. To those of us who participate, however, they are the most enjoyable for we can visit and inspect what is new in restored iron. It was soon evident there was going to be a lot of restored iron there too.

In all, 27 full-sized steamers arrived and they were a better than average group. Roger Drummond had his newly restored 30 horse undermounted Avery out for the first time. It was an immaculate job and won the Charlie Harrison Award for the finest restored engine of the year. Roger's brother, Gene, had his 80 Case there which was also making a first appearance after restoration. I am glad it wasn't my lot to decide which of the engines should receive the Harrison award.

The Case was 'stiff' from a lot of close fitting parts not broken in as yet. Clint Metzger helped Gene limber the engine with about two hours on one of the fans. The old Case responded beautifully to Clint's loving touch reminded one of a capable master and a faithful horse.

Gerald Knipper's old return flue Aultman-Taylor bevel gear engine was there. I have seen this engine in three states and it elicits more admiration from me each time.

It was the third day of the show be-fore I realized there were two Leader engines there. They were side-by-side on the fans so I checked with others and they confirmed the fact there were really two! Quite a record when only three (3) are known to exist!