Smolik Bros. Phoenix Logger mired down in stubble field.
Vice-President Antique Acres, Hiway 218 North, Route No.1,Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613.
Our Steam Show at Antique Acres in 1969, was in one way Blessed and in another way not quite so Blessed. Our oats harvest was the best we ever had. This was a Blessing. On Labor Day weekend, we almost got rained out. This was not so Blessed. We also found, that a 3 weekend show is not all it is cracked up to be, because it costs more to do it this way and it spreads the crowds thinner. Live and Learn.
Our show for 1970 will be Labor Day weekend, September 4, 5, 6, and 7, and we hope we are again Blessed with a good harvest. We had a lot of rain during 1969. This was good for the crops but had other disadvantages. Due to a high water table from an adjacent pond, we had soft spots where we wanted to put on our plowing demonstration. During the first weekend, Mr. Ami Slindy and Mr. Marlin Hilhouse, took Ed and Ray Smolik's 110 Case and 14 bottom plow out and gave a plowing demonstration with no problem, outside of heading crooked across the field. When asked about this, Mr. Hill house, who was steering, said he got his pants caught in the power steering. He said he had to reverse the Mackanison and go crooked to get his pants out. Ha! Ha!
On Saturday of the 2nd weekend, Mr. Ray Smolik and Marlin Hilhouse again took the 110 Case and 14 bottom plow out and did they ever get stuck, and I mean but good! After a number of trips and a lot of advice, it was decided to bring a 60 Cat. and a Phoenix logger out to use as cable anchors and attach cables to the drivers of the case and let it pull itself out over the cables. The idea was a good one with the exception that the logger went down on one side, almost to the point of tipping over. So we had a change of plans and had to bring the cat. over to get the logger out. With a lot of digging, a lot of timbers, and the cat to keep it from tipping and pull at the same time, we finally got it on the timbers and solid ground. Now back to the Case. When we got the Cat. and the logger in position in front of the 110 Case and the cables all in place, the first try was made. Mr. Smolik grabbed the throttle, applied the power and she walked out on the left side but almost at once went down on the right side, mud and water oozing out around the right rear wheel. This meant we had to start all over again. For the next try however, we brought a lot of 2 x 6 timbers to let it walk out on. After all was ready for the second try more problems. The 110 Case would not pull the 'hat off your head.' You should have heard all the reasons given for this; none of which were, correct.
Mr. Arni Slindy finally arrived on the scene and in about a half a minute diagnosed that the governor valve came loose on the stem and dropped down, shutting off the steam from the steam chest. Taking the top off the governor proved this to be correct. A piece of wire was found and a hook fashioned, the valve retrieved, a new nut obtained, and the valve refastened to the stem and the top of the governor replaced.
In the meantime, Mr. Derwood Heine hooked his International Cat to the front of the Case to keep the front end straight. When all was ready Mr. Smolik gave the high sign, opened the throttle on the 110 and out she went on top of the timbers. There stood one awful good 110 Case, high and dry on top of the timbers. While all this was going on, the girls in the magazine sales booth had a brilliant idea. They made a sign and put it on the 110 Case. The sign read in large letters 'Mudmobile.' Then to add insult to injury they clipped off the bottom half of Ray Smolik's Engineer badge, and told him he was only a half of an Engineer.
During the interval before the last weekend of the show, Mr. Cliff Johnston, John Sunder Meyer and myself, had another field ready for plowing so they could keep these large engines high and dry. But lo and behold, I think Mr. Ray Smolik and Arni Slindy were out to prove that their 40-140 Reeves plow engine could float. Instead of going to the field we had layed out, they took the Reeves to the field where the Case had been stuck, only further up where there appeared to be good dry footing. Well, the end result was, down went a perfectly good 27 ton Reeves and proved to all concerned it could not swim. When I finally got down I asked Mr. Smolik, 'What in tar nation are you doing down here anyway?' Mr. Ray Smolik came up with his/reserved calm answer, 'Oh we were just testing to see if it was fit to plow here.' I can't believe this but it looked like they were trying to create excitement to entertain the crowd. Well with all of our pre-training, we got quite efficient in getting them out.
Now the girls in the booth really went to work on another big sign. 'Swamp buggy' was attached to the Reeves. The Smolik Brothers told me that Mickie Fischels and the Kruger girls from Columbia, Missouri, had better remember that they have all winter to figure out a good one to pull on them next year.
I am sending pictures with this story, so you can see what it was like. This is something a lot of people have heard about, but never have seen. It proves one thing, if you want to see the unusual, you have to come to the Antique Acres Steam Show.
On Labor Day weekend, on Sunday, we had a Memorial Service for the late Frank P. Schaefer and William Ries, who passed from our ranks during the previous year. I wish to extend a real vote of thanks to Mrs. William Ries and the Frank Schaefer family for allowing us to operate 60 x 80 hp. Case Steamers during the show. I am sure that is the way Bill and Frank would have wanted it. Also, our gratitude to Mr. Henry Lebacken of St. Cloud, Minnesota, and Mr. John Bauler of Eagle Center for the good care they gave them. Our appreciation to Mr. Art Robison of Souix Falls, South Dakota, for bringing his scale model shingle saw, and the slides he showed in the evenings of the show; as well as Mr. Marlin Hilhouse, Mr. Nelson Lord, the sawmill man whose name I can't remember and any others who assisted us. These kinds of people are indispensable, and highly appreciated at a steam show.
Now last but not least, are the ladies that operated the sales booths and the people that operated the food tent and other concessions. Harold Smith, our address system operator, Shelby Bellenger, our M.C. these guys can really talk! The story has it that when I am threshing with the Rumely Separator, I should leave the belt off the cleaning fan and have one of these guys announce into the fan on each side, I could do a better job cleaning the grain. Well, anyway, thanks to all of you guys.
The people of Antique Acres were greatly honored to have with us Mr. R. Dayton Nichols, of New York, for two days. I believe he came as an Ambassador for Elmer Ritzman, and the Steam gas people. Thanks Elmer; he was certainly most welcome.
At the show this year we had twelve steamers, thirteen threshers, one Birdsell Huller, an International Shredder, some fifty tractors and many gas engines; I lost track of these.
Some of the outstanding items of the Antique equipment show, were in the Steam line, such as Smolik Bros. 40-140 Reeves plow engine and their 110 hp. Case. There was also an 80 hp. Case, belonging to Mrs. William Ries of Long Beach, California. For a heavy engine this is the easiest handling steamer I ever operated.
The outstanding collections in the tractor line are J. Steward Fenton's oil pulls, all of the older vintage. He has a 12-24, one 20-30, two 16-30, one 20-40 and two 30-60 with make and break ignition.
Another collector who is shaping up real well is Harold Pries, with a Wallis, three of the older Moline line, and a 27-44 Twin City now being restored. When Mr. Pries restores a tractor, it looks and works like the day it left the factory.
Also worth mentioning is the Antique Acres' 22 hp. Avery Steamer in charge of Bob Fischels. This engine was all scraped and steamed down, and repainted in original Avery colors. Then we have tank wagons. Bernard Skillen has five of them like new. Then there is the John Sundermeyer, Andu Fischels' 15-30 Townsend, almost like new. The beautiful Cliff Johnston collection: a 1915 Galloway Farmobile, a 10-20 Titan, and others being restored, all painted in original colors. Then there is John Ruth with a big gas engine collection, all very old and in real working order. Of course, we can't forget the collection of E.B. (Hep) Crowell- He goes heavy on engines built in Waterloo, Iowa. Mr. Derwood Heine is our International man in the tractor line and has many gas engines. In the thresher line is the Alfred Linderman's 36-58 Case with a Strottman swinging stacker, a beautiful showpiece and first class condition. Also, the Andy Fischels 32-56 Rumely thresher with Garden City wing feeders.
We also have a blacksmith shop with some of the equipment nearly 100 years old. And now with us this year, a fifty foot tower all steel windmill being erected this spring by Mr. Louis Ohmes of Osage, Iowa. This mill is all painted aluminum. The wheel is red, white, and blue. The vane is red with Antique Acres on each side. These are becoming quite rare in this vicinity. Mr. Don Deutch of Baxter, Iowa, is restoring a 40 hp. Case steamer ; this will be a honey.
Also for the 1970 show, we have a nice lot of saw logs, 18 and 20 feet for building rafters. These will be sawed during the show. We are also in the process of rearranging some of the equipment on the grounds to make more room. This includes the Prony brake and 2 baker fans. This will make them more accessible for the heavy steam engines. As it all shapes up, it looks like it will be a great show in 1970.
The Ladies of Antique Acres will be operating at least two very fine sale booths. There will be for sale: Steam and Gas magazines, novelties of all kinds, quilts, hats, glassware and other items.
For those people interested in horse drawn farm machinery, Mr. Cleo Howard is their man. He had a large collection here, and a larger one at home.
We hope to have our show grounds in nice condition and our utility building is one of the most modern at any show. Hot and cold running water, showers for both men and women. We have plenty of good trailer parking and hook-ups.
It will be a great show; come and see us!
The End Come away! Poverty's catching.