The Power Show, A Family Affair

    I was pretty busy this last week, as I was getting ready for the highlight of my Summer, The Historical Engine Society’s annual Antique Power Exhibition. They hold it at the end of July every year at Century Village. It keeps me busy as I always seem to be not-quite-ready for it. I like to take something up to the show to display, and this year was no exception. I have several old Gravely walk-behind convertible tractors that I was going to take up, but they were all not running for one reason or another. I tried to get them going, but after taking several magnetos and carburetors apart, I couldn’t get more than a few sputters out of them. That left the little Hill Hardware delivery truck. It is a 1970’s Sharp mini-car, that is styled after the Model T Ford. I had some work to do on it too, but at least it was running fine.

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   The Power Show starts on Friday, with a setup day that is nominally a display day also. But the official start of the show is on Saturday morning with the tractor parade around Burton Square. I had work to do at the store, and I barely made it in before everything was shut down for the parade. My wife, just behind me got stuck in traffic and just had to sit there and wait it out. There were ladies going around handing out candy to people that had to wait, which I thought was nice. The tractors “circled” the square, driven at walking speed by their owners. I always enjoy seeing who is driving them and speculating who they are. There are the guys who obviously are the owners, and sometimes if they have more than one tractor you see their wives driving the second one. Then there are the boyfriend/girlfriend combination drivers and sometimes the whole family is involved with Mom, Dad and the kids all driving together.

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   They call it a tractor parade, but there are also various old cars and trucks, construction equipment and anything else that will run under its own power involved. I really enjoy it and what I think the attraction is for me is that unlike a static display like at an old car museum, you can see, hear and sometimes smell the old machines actually running, and doing what they were designed to do. We didn’t get to go to the show an Saturday (good thing, as it rained buckets in the mid-afternoon). But we went on Sunday and with just a few drips of rain had a great time running the little truck around and seeing the displays. The store was well represented by our employee Paul who was wearing his Hill Hardware T-shirt while driving the barrel train for the little kids. Our truck ran fine, I even let my friend Scott take it around, its new gearing worked a treat, but more on that next time…

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