3745 Fowler Lane Longmont, Colorado 80503
One fine Monday last July while twiddling my fingers in Oxford,
Ohio, where my smart and beautiful wife, Charly, was teaching a
week’s class in quilting, I consulted my Show Directory to see
what adventure awaited. Alas, nothing near enough (although Darke
County et al Were beckoning). So I decided to head west to see what
might be cooking around Rushville, Indiana, being aware of an
earlier steam school, etc.
The Pioneer engine site east of town was quiet as a stuck
Hercules, so when I got to town I strolled into the beautiful old
county courthouse to see what a feller could stir up. One question
about steam delivered me immediately to the surveyor’s office
where the Asst. Surveyor, whose name I’ve lost (darn it!), sold
me a county map for $1 and circled a tree lot belonging to the
Porter family, a few miles northwest of Rushville.
In Colorado you can see right through what goes for tree lots
out here, and it’s almost impossible to hide anything therein.
In Indiana, however, you could hide the Russian army in one
farmer’s lot, and thus I found the Porters’ place with all
its well-hidden treasures. Not a soul was around, but they had just
been in the field binding and shocking some barley with an old
10-20 (no paint) and nice IH PTO-driven binder. (Our binder is
About the first thing you see, however, is this robin’s egg
blue A. D. Baker 21-75 Uniflow, with its engine at dead center.
It’s clear that the machine is in service, and just in
suspended animation. (Our 1924 24-75 Front-Tank Minneapolis #8691
has also suspended animation for the winter.)
So here is the first picture I took of this wonderfully colored
machine, thinking that Hoosiers had strange but beautiful taste in
coloring old iron. THEN I SAW IT!! This machine hadn’t been
decorated by some weirdo, but by the robins of spring a perfect
match for the eggs planted firmly in the nest of the ring gear!
This delightful conclusion was dispelled soon by the arrival of
some of the Porter kids, who explained that this was an annual
occurrence, and it didn’t matter because they were going to
take their smaller 16 HP Advance to the Darke County Show, anyway.
These neat kids showed this stray around the sawmill and other
amazing features of the woodlot.
All this goes to show that as complete as the Steam and Gas Show
Directory is, not all the great shows are covered! Also proves that
steam beats gas any day as a home for the birds!!