703 Curtis St. Mason, Michigan 48854
To all the good people that attended our show, and to those that could not but wanted to, we as a club wish to extend to all the readers and friends and relatives an invitation to our show for 1987.
As for our 1986 show, it was a huge success. I think the reason for this was that we have very good participation from our members. We have a good line of steam engines, tractors and gas engines. Also we have many other things that are related to steam shows.
Our show started on Friday morning at about ten o'clock. Things usually go at moderate pace on Friday so as not to over tax anybody.
This is a picture of a rice threshing north of Corning, Arkansas, on December 14, 1985. The steam engine is a 20 HP 1919 Advance Rumely #14923, belong to Louis Ahrent, Route 1, Box 228, Corning, Arkansas 72422. The thresher is a 28-inch Case belonging to Eugene Bauschlicher. That morning when they started firing up the engine, it was 12 degrees and, as you can see, there was snow on the ground. The picture was taken by Kenneth Pettit, Corning. The two threshed wheat and oats this summer and rice in the fall using the steam engine. They also use the engine to run a sawmill owned by Louis' brother, Martin. The engine was bought from Virgil Boatman, Bridgeport, Illinois, about three years ago.
We have a shingle mill that is brought in by Bev Meyers from Henderson, Michigan. He also brings his 10 HP Advance engine along and uses it to saw shingles. This is sure a nice outfit and it and the sawmill are usually the first things that take place on Friday forenoon. Our sawmill is run by Ken Lewis from Jackson, Michigan. Ken is an excellent sawyer and also a great help at our show because he is one of those few that are capable of doing most anything that needs doing. He usually looks around to see who has steam up first and that is the engine that he wants on the mill. When he gets an engine on the mill he is an artist with the saw lever. Regardless what size engine or how much power it has, he just feeds the log into the saw accordingly. He always gets the most he can out of the engine without lugging it down. By doing so he keeps the saw running the proper speed and he can cut lumber that any builder can use. As Saturday goes along Ken begins to bring out his showmanship. Sometime during the day he will have his son Dale put his little 12 HP Advance and Bev Meyer's 10 HP Advance on the mill at the same time. This really is a sight to see and the two engines work very well together. Also, as if this isn't enough, he usually has Coe Emens and George Helbig put on two John Deere tractors. Things like this sure do make for a good show and everybody enjoys it immensely.
To get back to Friday afternoon, we always have a parade of equipment early in the afternoon. After this we thresh grain with a Case machine that is owned by Charles Smalley. Charlie is our separator man and makes sure that whoever is pitching bundles doesn't plug up the machine. He also has quite a time keeping the youngsters out of the grain wagon, the straw stack (well that's a different story, because some things are just not possible). As the day progresses we put on a plowing demonstration with steam engines. We don't have too much ground so in order to have as many people see as many different engines as possible plow, we plow down with one engine and back with another.
We also have a pulling sled which is kept busy most of the time by one engine or another or a tractor all day long. We also have fans which we try to keep running as much as possible. Also to put a load on an engine we have John McDowell with his 'power eater' as he calls it. For those not familiar with the power eater it is an electrical generator that is connected to a bank of resistors, which are arranged so that he can put on as light or as heavy a load as you want to pull. We like to work our engines here and this is a good way to do it. We sure appreciate his taking time to attend our show.
As the days and the show goes on we try to have a slow race or two. This is a lot of fun and much skill is involved. We don't usually have any double engines in these races so you see the engineers must be very good with the throttle.
We have many contests at our show. One that has just been started is called a block race. This was introduced to us by Bill Kennedy. It sure did create a lot of fun and excitement for everybody concerned. This again has a lot to do with how adept a man is with his engine. Also not to be forgotten in the game of skill is the teeter totter. We have many young engineers that can do this balancing act very fast indeed. We encourage all our young people to participate in all activities and they do an excellent job.
Also sometime during the show we have a ball game, using steam engines. This can become very exciting, and also very funny at times. Some times the players get to having so much fun pestering the umpire that he has to use a club to restore order.
These are not all the things that happen at our show as you will find out if you attend.
In our club there are some 50 engines. Members bring different engines year by year so you can see that the different makes are pretty well represented.
Also with our tractor members we have very good participation. If we need a tractor to move something there is always one available. There are many different tractors at our show to see. We have some of the best around and many rare ones. There are also many gas engines large and small. We also have some model steam engines.
As to exhibitors, we have so many that we almost ran out of room for them. You can walk through them and see most anything you wish to look at. There are some beautiful restoration jobs that deserve a person's undivided attention. If you're still not tired you can go through the flea market before you leave.
There are several lunch stands where you can quench your thirst and also get rid of your hunger.
Our ladies have a good supply of T-shirts, buttons, caps, and other things that can be purchased.
As the show starts to wind down on a Sunday afternoon one gets the feeling that he or she is getting tired, and it is also kind of sad because we realize that it is going to be a whole year before we can do it again. However we enjoyed it and we look forward to next year.
There are so many people involved in putting on our show, and many get no recognition at all, so I would like to take this time to thank everyone, and tell you you are appreciated. Also all our patrons, because if it wasn't for you it would hardly be worth the effort. I also wish to thank the owners and editors of our hobby magazines for doing such a good job of printing our show ads and reports, as this gives us recognition all over. So until July 31st, August 1st and 2nd of 1987 we, the Michigan Steam Engine and Threshers Club, bid you good luck and good health.