Striving for Realism:

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12109 Mennonite Church Road Tremont, Illinois 61568

I thought it would be appropriate to submit a few photos of our
little threshing bee at the Vernon Koch farm in Tremont, Illinois,
while everyone is making plans for next year. We have never gone
out of our way to become a big show, or worried about the number of
engines or tractors we had. We have tried to remain faithful to the
ideals that most of our shows started with: honoring the memory of
the threshermen.

You’ll see from the pictures that we hold our show on the
farm, shocking several acres of oats. They are loaded onto the
bundle wagons the day of the show so people can see how they got
there! We even leave a strip standing to cut with the grain binder,
and give a shocking demonstration. Draft horses always pull the
wagons; this way folks get to see as close an historical
reenactment as they’re likely to find anywhere. The straw stack
is baled with a wire-tie baler, and lots of old-timers enjoy
helping with these jobs. Oh sure, we cut some corners. All of our
bundle wagons aren’t steel or wooden wheeled as you can see,
but we go out of our way to show attendees the way it really was as
accurately as possible.

These days it seems the threshing area of the show is being
pushed further and further into a corner by the flea markets and
other activities, and many shows don’t have the room for such a
demonstration as ours. But I hope these photos from our August 3,
1996 show will inspire some of you to restore the threshing
demonstration to its place of honor at our shows. After all,
it’s where it really all began we must never lose sight of
that! Our next show will be August 2, 1997. Hope to see you!

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