We went to two power shows in August. Since the steam engine was invented I don't think the feeling of awe at their size and the amazement at how fast they did the work they were invented for changes from one generation to the next. Only now the demonstrations are just for fun. In my grandparents day, everyone was excited to see the steam engine chugging down the road.
I'll bet the farmers saw the steam engine coming long before it arrived. Depending on the direction of the wind, the area around the steam engine is a black smoky cloud. The acrid smell carries on the wind, and I could smell it on my clothes and in my hair after we left the grounds. I don't think I've been in such a smoky haze since I was a kid. Dad loved to smoke his pipe in the model T car while he drove us to Nevada, Mo. to shop on Saturday mornings. My two brothers and I were surrounded by a smoky haze all the way to town and back. Up wind of the steam engine, we could see it clearly. My grandparents lived at one the corners of a square mile in a spot called Olive Branch Mo. in Vernon County. My mother and her sisters helped Grandma and the neighbor women fix meals. The boys carried water to the men and helped the men in the field throw the dried oats on hay wagons to pull up along side the thrashing machine. Others pitched the straw off the wagon and the thrashing machine separated the straw into a pile and the oats into a wagon. The days were long and hot, and the men were sweaty and itchy from the chaff. The oats were winter feed for the milk cow, pigs and horses. I suppose a certain amount of oats were set aside to plant the next spring. The pile of straw was used in the mattresses to plump them up. In a year's time, all the use had deflated the mattresses.
There is always so many items to see. Something this 1931 washing machine and the butter churns had in common. Both was run with a Magtag gas engine.
There's always lines of old tractors. This one caught my eye. Wonder what it would have been like to see pink machinery in the fields instead of red and green.
Near a museum was this old pickup with the bed full of marigolds. It was so colorful. My husband carefully looked in the peek hole cut in this cardboard box. The sign said careful not to bother the baby rattler. Harold was expecting to see a baby snake. What he found was a baby toy rattler. This backward tractor was interesting. We'd never seen one like it.
This one man machine was used to brush hog sprouts and cut trees. It had the ominous name widow maker.
This is the Grant Wood Gothic painting in life size wood and the faces missing so people can stand behind it and get their pictures taken. I didn't think Harold could climb the steps and kneel down if I asked him so I copied and pasted our faces in the picture. A hundred years has seen many changes in the farming. For those of us that heard stories from our elders, it fun to see what the machinery of their day looked like and watch the demonstrations. Power shows have changed to attract the interest of women and children so the whole family will enjoy the day.
There's always the craft shows and flea markets. I had to laugh at the sign on top one van. It gave fair warning the merchandise on that table was for men. There is much more for the whole family. Venders have good food to eat and various drinks. People talk about the old days with others. Cameras are flashing all the time to save memories of yester years. The saying he/she has never seen a stranger tends to be right for everyone that attends the Power Shows.
A woman that has worn many hats in my life time. Join me here and find out about those hats.