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2012 Tulare Antique Farm Equipment Show

Three musketeers - Frank King, Stan Paddock, and Ed Thelen - of the IBM 1401 Restoration group decided to take in the show. We met at Frank and Cynthia's hillside home home in suburban Morgan Hill at 9:30 Friday and toured the gardens.
Constant speed windmill. As the wind picks up, the centrifugal force of the spinning blades slides them out, rotating them for less bite on the wind. That is what the designer says will happen ;-))

Into Stan's car we climb,
and off to Tulare,
3 hours away.

We checked into the local Motel 6 about 2:00, then headed for the show grounds.
Heck, we are here, why not buy tickets for both days and go in?? And so we do.
All of California is having an April heat wave, and Tulare is no exception !!
Do we look wilting ??? wilted ???

After looking around a while, and getting re-connected using cell phones, we head for the 4:00 Tractor Pull. They were using a "sled" like this. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures, figuring to cover the Saturday Big Event with steam tractors.(We left before the tractor pull on Saturday.)

After the tractor pull, we lurked about until about dusk, when security folks started eying us. We eat dinner at Apple Annie's, a great fun local restaurant just north of the motel.

During the course of the meal, teasing back and forth with the staff, we ask if they have biscuits and gravy for breakfast, as Frank is from North Carolina where such things are expected. The night manager assures us that if Frank is disappointed with his breakfast, the night manager will pay for Frank's breakfast. In the morning, Frank was well satisfied, and paid for his own breakfast ;-))

In the morning, we did not find an open gate with a guard, so we wriggled through a weakly closed gate an into the grounds. Lots of stationary engines running, and tractors moving about. Movie of grinding corn (14 megabytes) We eyeball until the 10:00 parade time then find seats on the south side of the parade street.

The parade opened with U.S. flags and the nation anthem - then started promptly. LOTS of tractors, parading slowly by in two columns. The announcer providing the driver's name, a brief description of the equipment, and maybe an off the cuff comment for each. The first 10 minutes were seemingly "ordinary" old tractors, mostly John Deere, this must have been John Deere country ;-)) All the tractors seemed to have new tires and newly painted and waxed, like toys from the city. Frank was having a ball, but I was not all that interested, and didn't take pictures.

Then things got "interesting" :-))
You get
the flavor -
We were hot,
thirsty, hungry,
sore, ...
and left.

After about an hour and 45 minutes, the sun was beating down, we were hot, thirsty and hungry, and therefore we had seen enough tractors!!

( A few days later, Stan found this "Go-Cart" on YouTube which would have added even more fun to the parade ;-))

Faire lunch (with a beer for the hot day) seemed average, and we looked about some more -- The parade was still going on - for all I know, the parade goes on all summer ?? ;-))

We cruised about the display area, and believe it or not, there were still lots of tractors on display - hardly any seemed missing !!
Biggest engine
at show
Stan found YouTube
The engine in
front pumps water
over the screen
for cooling.
An engine behind
pumps air for starting
into the green tank
screen for
Steam Power
for making
Honey Pecan
Ice Cream :-))
(Terry D. Spahr)
Was the above steam engine the only steam traction engine at the fair?

About 3;00 someone said the car air conditioner would feel mighty good. I figured we would come back for more - but we hit the cool, air conditioned road for home ;-))


If you have comments or suggestions, Send e-mail to Ed Thelen at

Originated April 24, 2012
Updated April 24, 2012