On this grey, rainy morning, I remember the bright blue skies of the antique power show at Waverly and meeting up with good friends again. And enjoying a walk through the past with family. And those chocolate malts! I wonder at the ingenuity of those who designed left-hand plows and oscillating straw blowers, multiple gear pump jacks and butter churns- all those little things that made life easier for the early pioneer farmers and their families. And the artistry evident in the colors and the differing patterns of pin-striping.
The crowd wanders the grounds: the older folks reminiscing about which tractors they worked or how they managed their butter and their milk or how they rebuilt a certain piece in order to fit the needs on their farm; the young children wide-eyed at this so physical world, having fun running ears of dried corn through a hand sheller, watching the wheat threshed from the heads coming out one auger while the chaff and straw are blown out another.
And then there are all the hard-working people who put the show on, who work all year to keep up the equipment and keep these traditions alive and real for so many who will never experience this world anywhere else. They work to make this show special for the thousands of people who come to experience it. Everyone from the antique tractor owners, the gas engine owners, the threshing crews, the bread and butter makers, the corn shellers, the Boy Scout troop with cold water, the food vendors, toy venders, the swap meet sellers, the horse demonstration folks, the tack collection man, the antique crane operators (think Mike Mulligan), to the volunteers all over the grounds are there to make this a fun experience for all the families who come to see what it’s all about.
People who “do” antique farming-and I mean everything I listed-are some of the friendliest, most generous, and darn right fun people you’ll ever have been blessed to know. A work ethic oozes from their pours and there is always a ready smile and a helping hand. We’ve gone to this particular show in Waverly, Nebraska for many years, and it is like coming home when we pull in to the show grounds and we both look wistfully into the rear-view when we have to leave.