Saturday, October 17, 2015

It Was A Glorious Fall Day At Pinckneyville!

Gary and Peggy were set up on Gas Engine Hill, right next to the Little Toot Railroad.

We reminisced about finding and collecting the 8 HP Bessemer, and Gary shared some of his experiences in bringing it back to life.

I've been reading engine magazines for fifty years and a common story is the old boy with a collection of engines stashed in buildings around his farm, and they are just moldering away. Collectors try to buy them, but the old boy "has plans" and won't sell. By the time his estate auction happens the parts to various engines are in unrelated piles, and the collection is scattered to the four winds. Susan and I didn't want to be like that.

Gary has done us, and the gas engine community a great service. We are overjoyed to see the engines we accumulated over the years on display and in running condition. It wasn't happening on our watch, and I am glad I came to the realization that we needed a better plan. The Bessemer is going back to Gary's shop for completion over the winter and next year the world will see this engine in better condition than when it was sold to a farmer who lived up a hollow in Eastern Kentucky to run a sorghum press.

Pat and O.T. With The Mailbox Engine, 1992

This engine would still be up a hollow in Martha, Kentucky if not for Susan. She piled rocks under it for me until we had it picked up high enough to roll it into our station wagon way back in 1976, when we were newlyweds. And then she helped move it to the farm in 1980. Way back in 1992 one of the farmers in our neighborhood knocked down our mailbox with a wide farm implement. We needed a new one set up right away, and that is what precipitated moving this old piece of iron from the barn to the road. If not for having our mailbox knocked down, we never would have met Gary, and our engines would still be rusting away in our barns.

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