It was a beautiful Friday morning for the opening of the 37th annual show of the Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club. It was a real pleasure when a good friend, Harry Sheldon from Austinburg, called and offered to pick me up and take me down to the show. Harry is an active restorer of antique tractors and enjoyable to visit. He also had made arrangements with his neighbor, Ted Seifert, a club board member who is in charge of safety at the show, to take me around in his golf cart. It was an enjoyable morning.
We went down to the show early enough to have breakfast and visit with other board members who were getting ready for the opening ceremony and flag raising. After we attended that, Ted took me over to the area where there were several old, larger tractors. One of them was an old Eagle tractor that my dad used to own. He threshed and filled silo for a group of North Bloomfield and Orwell farmers with that tractor.
From there, we went to the south end of the well-kept grounds to the agricultural museums. Ted was able to drive through the newest one so we could see everything. On one side are two old kitchens, one before there was electricity and beside it another one after electricity came into use. They were interesting displays. Further down in the building was a display of old plows, put together by agricultural historian, David Cover from Trumbull County. It was interesting to see the old plows from those with wooden moldboards to newer steel moldboards.
Ted’s job as safety chairman was to ride around and check the displays to be sure they are all safe. If there was some engine or other kind of equipment running, it had to be roped or otherwise protected so viewers could not get too close.
We drove around the many restored tractors on display, many very interesting old models. Feature tractor this year was the Minneapolis Moline that has not been made for some time. It was a good tractor in its day. We drove through most of the flea market where you could find most everything in the way of old parts and equipment, plus a lot of other things. It was a great flea market. My friend, Harry, spent some time there looking for some part and lubricant he wanted.
We also stopped at the building where they have two huge engines that were donated to the club, and they were able to get them to the show grounds. When the 16-cylinder engine started up, one needed to plug his or her ears because it was very noisy.
As we rode around, we met and visited with a lot of people, some I knew and some Ted introduced to me. I was impressed with the friendly atmosphere we experienced and the dedication and know-how of exhibitors and others at the show.
As noon approached, we stopped for lunch in the pavilion and then it was time to go home. I was sorry to leave the show grounds because it was a most enjoyable morning. I appreciate the thoughtfulness of Harry and Ted in making it a great morning. Also, thanks to Linda Lipps from Trumbull County who called me the night before the show to make sure I was going to get down and had a ride while at the show. Her husband, Henry, is club president.
Submitted by John Parker, an agricultural writer for Farm Bureau and other farm organizations.