Held August 28, 29, 30 and 31 and September 1, 1975 At Pontiac, Illinois
Here is ''Herb'' Beckemeyer's engine as it looked after elaborate decoration on one dark night at the Pontiac, Illinois Show in .1975. It didn't detract from the regal look of a Baker Engine well restored.
7197 Mississippi Street, MerriiUville, Indiana 46410
No reunion can endure year after year without having something worthwhile to occupy the exhibitors and spectators. This show had it and some to spare. My wife said to me about a month ahead of time, 'we should be sure to plan for the Pontiac Show.' I agreed happily.
We were met on the grounds by a group of congenial people at the gate. After some discussion, we were told to look up Mr. Brinkman to let him show us where to park. He not only showed us the spot, but he helped us back into the space. He cared!
It promptly began to rain, but believe me it was good to be there, rain or shine. This time was used to visit and just enjoy the country. The rain dampened everything but our spirits. The Horse Show was postponed until Monday. Instead of the Horse Show that rainy evening, the folks gathered to hear a show put on my volunteers on the grounds. These folks really could and did entertain. I mention this especially since it was local talent giving an impromptu performance to avoid disappointment for a great many folks.
There were professional groups on other nites as programmed.
It would take many pages to list the attractions, not the least of which was the extensive Flea Market. Many women would not have come, had not the market been there. There were many items reasonably priced for both men and women, to say nothing of the many things for the younger set. I find that most successful shows try to have something for everyone. Pontiac was no exception in my opinion.
Now about the show of engines; Steam, Gasoline, Models, also the machines which were driven by these engines.
A first class sawmill operated in a professional manner by dedicated and capable Ray Dye from Deedsville, Indiana. I had talked to Ray before this show and found him to be knowledgeable of anything which bore a resemblance to a sawmill.
Threshing operations drew a large crowd and many people were able to get their hands into the action.
Shingle sawing was enough load to make the engines talk - Or I like to think of it as music.
The 'Baker' Fan was the king when it came to making the steam engines puff. You could see tape recorders come from all directions when the engines were doing their thing on the 'Baker' Fan. The sawmill also got its share of attention when the sawyer would crowd it a little for the benefit of the tape recorder fans. The Tape Recorder Fiend has not lived until he goes to a steam show like the one at Pontiac.
Gasoline and steam engine models along with one hot air engine model drew their share of the spectators.
An exhibition of spinning was given by Mrs. Ruth Geeting of Sterling, Illinois. Mrs. Geeting really raised folks to loud applause when she sang with the folks who volunteered to put on the show in lieu of the society horse show which had to be postponed.
Ollie and Mrs. Knepper were there selling their magazine subscriptions. This to me is a necessary feature at a steam show. By the way, Ollie knows steam and can be counted on to help and to answer your questions. They also have a wealth of reprinted literature on engines and related subjects. They have the largest selection I have ever seen.
THE GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH of Pontiac furnished a food service featuring real threshermen meals.
'Herb' Beckemeyer can be justly proud of the show put on by he and his cooperative people. God willing, we'll be there next year and I know many more who will also!