I spent the most enjoyable weekend of the summer of 79 at the Nittany Antique Machinery Show at Centre Hall, Pennsylvania. From the moment of my arrival on September 7, at the show grounds at Penns Cave, I knew I was in for a great 'old-time' festival.
A short trek through the hay stubble brought me to one of the nicest 'flea markets' I have seen. Even though some items for the ol' iron collector and some for my wife and sons but no fleas!
As I continued on toward the head quarter's building, I 'trooped-the-line' of a group of very impressive puffer bellies, all steamed up and ready to puff. Moments later, in the same area, I stopped to supervise the unloading of an 18 wheeler ladened with restored farm tractors. Soon realizing the man in charge knew far more than I about unloading old iron, I headed for the model building, which was filled right up with all kind of goodies. Enough to warm the heart of the most ardent collector!
Finally reaching the headquarter's building, I joined the club and had a nice chat with the friendly members in charge.
Soon after leaving the headquarter's building, I met my Waterloo. There, just a few yards away stood an ice-cream freezer powered by a John Deere 'L'. If there is one thing I can't pass up, it's John Deere Ice Cream especially when it is dished up alongside of homemade pie.
'The further I went, the behinder I got.' Just had to stop at the mammoth bean soup kettles, steam fired from a good ol' traction engine. Then over to the apple butter, made with live steam; then off to the chicken barbeque, with a side trip to the french fries and funnel cakes. All considered, if a feller went home hungry, it was his own fault.
Now well fortified, I headed for the real meat of the meet: the engines and tractors. I was certainly not disappointed at the fine array of several lines of gas engines. There were all kinds and size seven a nice little hot air pumping engine. I used to own it, but I just couldn't see the wisdom of a preacher showing off a 'hot-air' engine.
The tractors were another pleasure. There were all kinds in all states of repair and dis-repair. My favorite was the Rumely 16-30 that I was privileged to pilot around the grounds in several parades. The truth is, I'm a bit partial to the Rumely because I owned it before it found a home with my good friend, Aaron Heisey. Now it sleeps the winter away with several well restored friends on the Heisey farm. Between huffs, the Rumely told me that one of its best friends is Aaron's superbly restored International 8-16.
There were several demonstrations of machinery being run by gas and steam tractors, but my all time favorite of the day was the antique tractor pull. It was the first one I had seen, and I really enjoyed it.
I had the privilege of preaching to a full tent of believers on Sunday morning, and if the Lord tarries, and it is His will, I will be returning to the Show in September, 1980, for another great time and especially to preach on The Holy Spirit and You. Come on over for a time you won't forget. Lord Bless Ya'.
This was, without a doubt, the nicest, cleanest, friendliest show I have ever attended.