Box 146 County House Road, Mt. Royal, New Jersey 08061
Once again for the 27th time, the R.&T. show is over and the grounds have a quietness. All the crowd and a lot of exhibits have gone home, but surely not without saying, 'This was a good show'.
Under the direction of our president, Dan Brubaker, the events were carried out as per last year including the director's duties. All these ran very smoothly, for having performed these assignments once, it was easier a second time. For my version of events this year I will not go through the list of directors for repeats can become boring, but I will say that all of them must have done a wonderful job. There are always problems but for some mystified reason, they always have the habit of becoming unraveled.
My largest problem came on the first day when a friend that I had coaxed into bringing the merry-go-round, realized we had no 3 phase power to give him. A request was mad over the P.A. system by Mr. Eshleman for the loan of a one lunger with a clutch, to replace the electric motor. No offers were made so I approached the only man I knew of that I thought could help; R. J. Montgomery. Luckily he had such an engine, a single Wisconsin clutch and all; but we would have to go home to his garage in Broomall to fetch it. George Gaunt supplied the truck and away the three of us went. After returning, Dave Sickler and his helper Charlie worked until 10 p.m. changing the belts and pulleys for this different installation. Again a job well done and I believe that this is the first year that R.&T. has presented a full size set of galloping mechanical horses.
Our model section was fairly well stocked again this year and with all of these small machines in miniature, it is a lot of work keeping things in order. There are directors assigned to it, but they still need all the help they can get. One has to have a break or drive an old tractor through the parade, for most of the time you are inside and can see very little of what goes on. I am proposing that our leader buy each of us a pair of roller skates for the next show; one stipulation though, they must be steam driven.
Yet another addition has been added this year and this is a 3 ft. gauge Shay locomotive and an open passenger car. This was in operation during the show and I understand that it was quite a job laying enough temporary track for reunion time. When complete this track will circle most of the grounds so passengers can enjoy a long ride and take in the events everywhere. To obtain funds for ballast, a mythical $1.00 stock certificate was drawn up and it is surprising how many were sold. To anyone that would still care to purchase any of these, we have plenty more left. Our secretary Grace Lichty was responsible for having them printed for I gave her the sample on Wednesday evening at 9 p.m.; the next morning she arrived with a whole stack of copies. Quite a Gal is our Grace.
Our little Toot was in excellent shape again this year, thanks to three young men that do the operating. When they were net in Toot's cab they were on the miniature track with Scott's 2-6-0 or my engine. I took along a brand new 2-6-2 with the idea of giving it its maiden run, but when the time came that I was free, I found myself much too tired to be bothered. So, it still has the drill chips on it and according to my work program, I don't know when I will ge the time to blow them off. The little turbo-generator we put on Toot, did work out well and the headlight was nicely lit each evening.
There was one person we sadly missed this year and this was our former electrician and ohmite chaser, Larry Packer. He has retired and moved to Florida and I trust, found sort of a steam club there. During the show it was suggested that I take a show poster around and get all the folks that knew Larry to sign it. This will be mailed to him along with a committee ribbon and an exhibitor's plaque.
Sitting outside the main building was Larry's 10 ton Buffalo-Springfield roller. This he has donated to R.&T. and John Henry and myself have taken on the project of painting it up. She is No. 4753, manufactured in July 1920 and is of the three wheel type.
Another Buffalo-Springfield roller at the show and in steam (after much injector trouble), was an 8 ton tandem restored by George Gaunt and myself. The boiler has all new tubes and steams very well, and we are indebted to Noah Getz of Calliope fame, for his efforts in helping us correct this injector problem. All those old pipes are being replaced, Noah, and a strainer also is being added. Appreciation also goes to Bob Hartzell for his efforts in this matter.
Our roster of steam engines was quite large, and I did not get a listing of the exhibitors, but for another year, if I am to continue this reporting, I must make further efforts in this direction. There was a nice little Nichols & Sheppard, a freshly painted Huber, and a 'Kitten'.
As for Spick and Span engines this year, I think Clarence Wile with his next to last Peerless, deserved credit. I know that one morning he really worked the cleaning rag, for he was due to be photographed threshing. I think that this was cancelled though for Friday's weather was dull and we did have a short rain shower.
Mr. Derr had his engine also well cleaned and Marty Weaver looked as if he too had been to work on his Frick's. What a job it is trying to keep a steam engine or a tractor somewhat clean at a reunion. You cannot help but spill water either at the water tank or the spigot, and some even from injectors: eh Noah! Next thing you know, your wheels slop through a puddle of mud and there's an hour of cleaning time down the drain where the water should have gone. I guess this wasted effort has to be chalked up to 'accumulated pleasure expense.'
We were all sorry to know that Mrs. Mathews broke her leg getting out of the camper. She is usually everywhere during our show and was seen on Friday in a wheel chair with a flag flying from the cast. George was, of course, doing the pushing.
Also in the Medical field, the Gordonville Ambulance crew got in a lot of practice treating bee stings. I think these insects were 'Threshing Bee's' for Frank V. got his stings from be's in the boiler of the Avery.
In my last year's report I mentioned many people, but I sadly missed one man who is on hand practically all year long, and that is Johnny Railing. He is always ready with his old Case to do a bit of heavy hauling or take a turn on the belt. I saw him one day belted to the sawmill sawing ties for the Shay railroad, and, to my surprise, I saw Al Kutzner checking up on the saw dust pile!
Mr. Hadley from Maryland was there again with his oxen team, and here is quite a complex of beef if I ever saw it. I am told that in difficult situations they can outpull a horse, for in mud where a horse would flounder, these animals can still apply their energy. To me, those long horns looked rather frightening, but upon approaching them and rubbing their noses, I found I had another to fear. They were like Elmer Lapp's beautiful Belgians, completely a man's friend!
Out the back of the tractor pull course within a long tractor line, were some excellent examples of restoration. This must have brought back memories to some of the old farmers, who, upon seeing them must have said, 'I can remember the day I bought one of those brand new'. These old mechanical marvels are also becoming scarce and certainly deserve a step on the stairway of evolution