Friday, September 16, 2011

Steam, It's a Man Thing

The Steam-O-Rama is a fifty year old celebration of steam engines in Republic, Missouri. We have always wanted to go, and this year thought we would stop after lab work in Springfield. Usually the weather is a might warm, still summer-like. Today it was chilly and damp, then the wind came up a bit and made the day feel and look like winter. The weather is still a character here who messes with our plans!

But DH and I snatched the time to make a quick round of the grounds of the Steam Show today anyway. Oh, the old time machinery was magnificent. The puffs of steam, the toots of steam whistles took us back to an earlier time. There were also booths of flea market type tables, old trucks, and a huge collection of tractors like John Deere, Case, and International. We saw how steam powered municipal water pumps in the 1920s, watched sugar cane readied for steam powered sorghum making, and even a model steam train.

1915 Case steam engine.

                                                1919 steam engine

There were lots of old gents around remembering how farming used to be. Stories were exchanged, tall tales told, sales made, and the smell of hot dogs, popcorn, and funnel cakes wafted over the grounds giving the place a carnival atmosphere. Despite the cold, DH and I got some popcorn and sat a short spell watching the people milling about the grounds. What was the most striking was how everyone was enjoying themselves. The men who loved their own machines were delighted to show and tell others about them. It felt so good to see people enjoying a simple hobby; their love of old time tractors and engines radiated among the sporadic and billowing puffs of lily white steam!

                        Cleaning cane to make sorghum.

                   One booth with important things for sale...a man's dream shopping!


Linda O'Connell said...

What an interesting way to spend the day! Looks os fun.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

My husband and father-in-law would have loved this! I admit, I'd rather go to an antique flea market, but with all the people and the way you describe it, it sounds like a lot of fun.

Rebecca said...

What a (potentially) wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors!

I love your line, "The weather is still a character here who messes with our plans!" The older I get, the more picky I am about the weather...

Shelley said...

Hello Claudia! I was doing a web search for Case Steam engine and your blog popped up. We are part of this steam engine show in Republic and it's interesting to read your experience from a guest's point of view! We're gearing up for another show this weekend and the forecast calls for rain on Friday. :) But, hopefully all it will do is settle the dust.