Mr. Reed Visits Pion-era

| May/June 1970

426 Margaret Street, Akron, Ohio 44306.

For several years, your Iron Man Album magazine has been one of my favorite periodicals; I enjoy reading the threshermen's experiences and details of the steam shows. I seldom get to see more than one steam engine meet a year. The past year of 1969, I went to Pion-Era Show at Saskatoon, Canada. If you please, I would like to contribute a few pictures and some comments, in regard to Pion-Era and other subjects. I notice that you already published a very interesting account of Pion-Era, written by Mr. Somerville of Haney, B. C. However, Pion-Era is so big and since my material was prepared, I thought it might still be of some use to you. 1 trust it does not appear that I wish to detract from Mr. Somerville's very splendid account of Pion-Era, in any manner.

The Pion-Era people are so fortunate to have Mr. George Shepherd, for one of their guiding spirits. George is a young fellow, who came to Canada in 1908, when he was eighteen years old. I don't believe in speaking of a person's age, or anything like that but George is so important around Pion-Era, that one can't think of that event and not recall this most helpful gentleman. He is author of a couple of books West of Yesterday and Brave Heritage both books I keep at hand. They are interesting reading and good for an occasional laugh. Even a farm has comical happenings. Ask anyone who has followed a threshing machine.

The Pion-Era show has about thirty-five engines, steamed up and in operation. A larger number are parked, for display. I think they have even a greater number of gas tractors. The tractors are of many sizes, shapes and varieties. Several of the largest types that were manufactured. were in operation.

The friendliness and the cordial manner of all persons involved in the management and work of the Pion-Era was superior. If one stood at a distance, rather in doubt as to how close to approach the engines, those on duty would speak to you and ask you to climb on and have a look. At a machinery show or convention, it is not easy for one in charge, to answer the same old questions for three or four days; and talk to many people, who may not understand a great deal about machinery. I have demonstrated machinery for thirty-five years and know that a person can get very tired, on such occasions. Whether you go 100 miles or 2000, a friendly welcome is greatly appreciated.

I attended another show, which displayed several engines (steam) and associated equipment. Once in awhile five or six engineers would get their heads together, like a football team getting directions for a play. After a few minutes of talk, they would scatter to their engines and start twisting valves or get up on the engines to wipe off the steam gauge or some such task. I suppose if you wanted to talk to one of the boys, you just had to watch your chance with many others. I did want information on one particular engine but could not get a chance to speak to the proper person. At any rate, I found the boys at the Pion-Era Show always ready to answer questions, to spend time with the interested public. Not all shows have a George Shepherd to remind the boys to give a measure of courtesy to those who support the program.