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Post  rsv1cox Sat Jul 24, 2021 2:21 pm

Mark and I went to a Virginia Steam Engine show today.

Hundreds of steam and gasoline engines and tractors.  Hit and miss engines by the dozens and a Blue Stanley Steamer that we watched drive in full with passengers.

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Wish the sun was right for these two.  
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Post  Oldenginerod Sat Jul 24, 2021 5:44 pm

Ah, my kind of show Bob. All the good gear there. You're a lucky man to have been able to get there. Every show like that arond these parts has been cancelled.
Interesting note: Check out their efforts to keep the public safe! One single strand rope to separate the unprotected working machinery and the public. Just the right height for a young child to wander under and tangle temselves in the machinery.
I'm no party pooper, but those things can rip an arm off in a flash- Wouldn't want that on my conscience. All our shows need a full mesh fence to the ground, even on static stuff. Had a kid put his finger through the gears of an unprotected stationary bailer one year. Could have been worse.
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Post  rsv1cox Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:17 pm

Lots of signs around Rod reading - Do not leave your running machine unattended. But yes, many kids there and loose machinery. Only saving grace was - these are farm people used to this stuff. They hold this event every year, so far so good, but you never know.

Many of those machines were running. Hit and miss, wonderful sounds. Run all day on a gallon of gas. Some running water pumps, others saw mills, washing machines, wood splitters. That one large belt driven steamer was driving a 36" circular saw cutting logs into beautiful round cut lumber. I did not catch but a micro small part with my camera.

I did find the exact same Ford model N tractor that I used to operate at Toddy Clements chicken Farm when I was 14/15. Also a Farmall tractor that I plowed the field with opposite our house in Oceana Virginia. Planted corn there.

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The years have been kinder to the tractor than they have been to me. Sad
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Post  Oldenginerod Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:20 pm

@rsv1cox wrote:

The years have been kinder to the tractor than they have been to me.  Sad

I'd bet you haven't had as much work done as the tractors. lol!
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Post  rsv1cox Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:11 am

@Oldenginerod wrote:
@rsv1cox wrote:

The years have been kinder to the tractor than they have been to me.  Sad

I'd bet you haven't had as much work done as the tractors. lol!

I could use an oil change and valve job Rod and a Bondo facial would be nice.
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Post  OVERLORD Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:27 am

Great Stanley Steamer. I've seen one in action once in the parking lot at the Prescott Hillclimb event. It was the model with the round bonnet. I was surprised to see what distance it covers with one stroke: those cars don't have a gearbox!
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Post  Oldenginerod Sun Jul 25, 2021 7:06 am

This is a genuine Stanley restored by a friend of mine.  Amazing performance.  Quite a bit older than the one Bob saw.
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Post  getback Sun Jul 25, 2021 7:42 am

Cool event and lots of good stuff to see , i remember a few years back at the Dixie Classic Fair there was a guy using his hit and miss engine to turn out some cotton candy , we got to watch him start it too he did it in pretty quick time and gave the engine some tweaking . Good stuff good times !! This Site Rocks!
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Post  rsv1cox Sun Jul 25, 2021 8:18 am

@Oldenginerod wrote:This is a genuine Stanley restored by a friend of mine.  Amazing performance.  Quite a bit older than the one Bob saw.

Beautiful Rod.  Is that graceful arch a bulb horn or the tiller?  We enjoyed watching the blue one drive in.  Four or five people sitting up straight, a picture right out of the past.

If you look behind the Steamer and a fellow in a white shirt is an old rusty model T Ford that I would have thought twice about driving across the street.  It had a map of the United States attached with it's route marked from New York to San Francisco taken in 2019 with a group of other model T's.  Then, they turned around and drove back.  Amazing.

In 1953 we, (Mom, Dad, Me) took about the same route in a then new 1953 Nash Statesman.  

More pics.

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Real old type Conestoga wagon outfitted inside with period utensils.  

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See that crate under the center of the wagon. I hauled many of those around the farm when I was a kid. Once a year the State veterinarian would come around to take blood from each chicken, we're talking 5000+ chickens here. The crates were used to separate the tested from the untested. The feathers flew, I would pull a chicken from the crate, the vet would use a scalpel to nip the vein under the wing, drain it into a little vial and date it.
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Post  KariFS Sun Jul 25, 2021 8:52 am

Great machines, especially the Stanley Steamer!

That Model T looks just like I imagine the one Mack and the boys borrowed from Lee Chong for their great frog catching expedition in John Steinbeck’s ”Cannery Row”.

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Post  Yabby Sun Jul 25, 2021 5:27 pm

Wow!! cheers cheers I could spend all day easily immersed in that stuff! We have that sort of thing here but only ever, that I have seen on a small scale. We have field days for cockys (farmers) and they usually include some of this sort of thing, but never on the scale you mob have!! This stuff and the flea markets you have where you find all kinds of old model engines, is one thing I envy of you mob in the US. Probably Canada and UK re similar.

I remember when I was a kid around 5,6,7 or so, we had the Royal Agricultural Show each year for about seven days. (still do). They had heaps of old working engines and then lots and lots of new Farm Machinery including huge combine harvesters and in those days they would let you climb on and sit it the machinery and play on it for hours!!!! Very Happy Very Happy It was awesome, and my mum loved it because whilst I did that, she didnt have to spend money on the rides. Lol. They also had sample bags which had little containers of companies products in them and the sample bags were Free! All kinds of stuff from Rocky Road, Violet crumbles, to breakfast cereal, and I especially remember the Honey sample bag that came with fresh honey comb in it.

Sadly they are now called Show bags, cost huge amounts of money and are full of rubbish toys that break before you get home, and there are very few old farm engines running and on display, and the new farm machinery of which there is little is roped off and you cant play on it. (You never know I still might sit up high in the seat bouncing around and imagining, if I had the chance. You only get old, if you cant think young and simple pleasures any more :-) ). They still have the wood chopping which I go to and love. Worth the entrance fee on its own. And they have great night time events in the main Arena.

Thanks for posting all the photos and stuff. Looks like it would have been a great day!

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Post  rsv1cox Sun Jul 25, 2021 5:49 pm

Well said Yabby, and I'm glad that you liked the pictures.  Sadly a lot of the old world charm has left us, but for that afternoon I could relive some of my earlier adventures.  

I haven't read Cannery Row Kari, but have read Of Mice and Men, East of Eden, and The Grapes of Wrath.  The movie with Henry Fonda and John Carradine is a favorite.  I have read a lot of Hemingway too.  Two men's men of the same era.
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Post  Oldenginerod Mon Jul 26, 2021 5:57 am

I've just shot off an email to the management of one of our state's biggest tourist attractions, Sovereign Hill, a recreation of a gold mining town. Wife and I ventured up to Ballarat a few weeks ago (before lockdown #5).
Terrific reproduction buildings, miners camps, miner's cottages, appropriately dressed staff, underground mine tours, all sorts of interesting stuff. I've been lots of times before and enjoy every visit, but this one left me a little sad.

Reading the program we notoced a soon-to-depart tour of the "above ground" machinery, beginning at the boilderhouse where two huge Cornish boilers reside. Normally, with Ballarat being one of the colder places in the state, we enjoy an occasional visit to the boilers to warm ourselves and stare fascinated into the flames. This time, cold and lifeless. Move on to the engine/winch room, dead, steam engines and compressor covered in dust and going rusty. Huge steam beam pump which lifts water from the mine, stationary, battery (crusher) house falling apart and inoperable. Even my good woman was saddened to see this great old gear deteriorating due to lack of use. The tour guide said that they can't find enough suitably qualified people to operate the boilers and maintain the engines. Mind you, around half an hours drive down the road is a huge steam rally grounds with dozens of privately owned engines which hold regular rallies. An hour the other way is the Melbourne Steam Centre, again with dozens of engines and operators with suitable "boiler tickets". I suspect that it's not a lack of people, rather a lack of interest on managements part to invest a bit of time and effort in locating what they require.

Sadly, the biggest patronage of the venue is (well, pre-Covid) Asian & Indian tourists who spend their time panning for gold, riding the stage-coach and watching period costumed people make rock-candy and candles. The historic machinery is of little interest to them, so I suspect that management knows where the money lies.
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Post  Oldenginerod Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:06 am

You get the idea!
(Internet pictures, not mine)
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I must say, the Wheelwrights put on an excellent demonstration.
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Post  KariFS Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:32 am

@rsv1cox wrote: 
I haven't read Cannery Row Kari, but have read Of Mice and Men, East of Eden, and The Grapes of Wrath.  The movie with Henry Fonda and John Carradine is a favorite.  I have read a lot of Hemingway too.  Two men's men of the same era.

Of those three I have only read Of Mice and Men. The other two seem a bit serious and ”monumental” and I don’t have a copy of either yet. My parents probably have them in Finnish translations, but I seem to enjoy Steinbeck more in the native language. These three are all quite ”sad” novels, or so it seems to me. If you are interested in some more ”optimistic” Steinbeck novels, in addition to ”Cannery Row” there’s ”Tortilla Flat” and ”Sweet Thursday”. And of course ”The Wayward Bus”. A lot better as a book than the movie, as is often the case.

Last but not least, I know I don’t know You that well Bob, but I am almost 100% certain you’d like ”Travels with Charley” Smile

I haven’t read a lot of Hemingway yet, just a couple and those were Finnish translation many many years ago. Maybe it’s time to look again, in English this time.
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Post  rsv1cox Tue Jul 27, 2021 6:39 am

I have a handshake familiarity with Travels with Charley, but have never read it. It would probably remind me of Art Carney's "Harry and Tonto" a movie that I love. I paraphrase - "Most people think that the elderly just sit around, not Harry"

https://www.imdb.com/video/vi2058141977?playlistId=tt0071598&ref_=tt_ov_vi

A month or two ago PBS did a series on Hemingway's life, didn't end in a good way.
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