Eastern Steam Reunions held by the New York Steam Engine Association
The Canandaigua Grange served old fashion thresher style meals at noon and 5 P.M. each day. These meals really 'hit the spot' to city and country folks alike. An unusual set up was the clam bar operated by the Fairview Volunteer Firemen using the return flue of Harry Schoff's portable which was fired by Jim Cain of Rochester. This same engine also supplied steam for working models in a nearby tent. Several old fashion steam popcorn machines were in operation. An attractive one owned by Don Thomasson was mounted on a Model 'A' chassis and painted a bright orange. The little engines on these machines were a delight to see. The Grange building provided headquarters for the Women's Auxiliary where wives of various members sold souvenirs and memberships. Of unusual interest was Andy Theil's handicraft display and picture frame booth. Andy is totally blind.
The engine display was wide and varied. Board member Everett Blazey gave 5 or 6 grain threshing shows each day drawing 8 acres of heavy oats from his farm. Other threshing demonstrations were given by Charles Deman and George Behn with small stationary engines and smaller equipment. The straw was baled and stored at the end of each day. In addition to the large collection of steam engines one could see a wide variety of antique gas tractors and portables under the supervision of Bob Caves. One area had over 60 small engines all running and popping along at once! Bob also saw to it that we had several large gas tractors and oil pulls in the daily parades.
Speaking of the parades - they undoubtedly were the main attraction. Each parade lasted well over one hour and included all moving vehicles. Our 'Steam Queen', Lucy Tyler, lead each parade on a different engine. Lucy's husband drove his antique gas tractor and her grandfather, a Rumely! The size of the parade almost doubled on Sunday when the Genesee Valley Antique Auto Club swelled the ranks with 70 antique cars. At first the owners of these beautiful restored cars appeared a little disgruntled when smoke and dirt from the steam traction engines fell on their 'prizes', however, they took it all good naturedly and ended up with a special parade of their own at the end of the day.
Various tug-o-war events attracted considerable attention. The regular scheduled 'pull' was an old traction steam engine and a modern Ford Diesel tractor. Through 'expert' handling of the old steamer -- the Ford invariably lost! On Sunday, President 'Wally' Wood with a Buffalo-Springfield roller, challenged Bob Marshall with his Frick to a tug-o-war. Who won? It was a tie. Neither could outpull the other.