We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When I was a boy, my father would pile me in the Hudson and drive around the country. He'd been a tool and die maker since WWII, machining the precision equipment that produced America's plenty. We'd stop at factories and ask for a tour, which the men who labored there were all too pleased to provide. Ah, memories.
Last Sunday, the boys and I spent a wonderful day at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, CA, north San Diego County. (Website www.agsem.com) On 50-acres are gathered the restored and waiting to be restored machines that powered America becoming the breadbasket that fed its other workers and the world.
The boys' fun began before we left the driveway. Captured, bagged and moved to our more rural destination.
Here's a field of oldies.
A highlight was the hour-long parade of machines. A steamroller leads the way.
That's a tractor pulling a bailer.
The Clampetts were there, too.
Jason stands by as a seasoned former farmer and mechanic instructs Gavin in how to run this old wood burning steamer.
For reference to size of this fuel-burning baby, Jason is almost 5' tall.
Jason instructs Gavin in the finer points of this replacement for pulling a plow.
The boys got to ride all over the 50-acres on a 1940's Farmall like this one.
There was stuff for the ladies to do, like these early clothes washing machines.
This one brought back memories, tractor mobile USMC artillery.
And the visit ended with the most scrumptious home-made peach pie, a la mode of course, served up by farm ladies, who gave seconds to the boys.
A wonderful Fathers Day, and memorable to the boys.
The old wood burner that Gavin is learning about reminds me of a similar machine we have at out maple syrup festival. They use it to drive a belt to turn a flour mill and make buckwheat flour and some of the finest cornmeal you can find anywhere.
My boy, Connor, had the farmer sound its steam whistle this year, at my urging (I mean, c'mon, I wanted to hear the steam whistle!). You should have seen the boy's face! It was priceless.
There is something about those steam engines that continue to interest me as an adult. Perhaps its the harnessing of fire, steam, and big moving mechanical parts that appeals to man in me on some primitive level.
That looked like a great outing! Thanks for sharing it.