Monday, August 21, 2006

Nowthen Threshing Show

Yesterday, Kyle took the Scooter clan to the 2006 Nowthen Threshing Show, conveniently located in Nowthen, Minnesota. He plied us with a delicious, free, all-we-could-eat breakfast of pancakes, sausage and bacon, so there was really no resisting. Kyle will be startled to learn that one of my teammates at work, Monica, was actually married in Nowthen, though she did not have her reception at the rundown bar. Kyle was introduced to the show by his coworkers, some of whom live within biking distance. We even ran into two of them at the show.

Here's the button for the threshing show. You may recognize the Oliver 99 on the button, manufactured by Oliver (formerly Hart-Parr). Then again, if you're like me, you might have never even heard of the brand if your grandfather was more of a John Deere sort of guy. What's even more confusing is that my father buys the grandkids, all of them, John Deere toys and things when he could at least be buying my nephew Oliver toy tractors that actually say Oliver. He doesn't have the same excuse as me...he grew up on a farm.

So, what's at the Nowthen Threshing Show? For starters, the Parade of Power! It's not a white pride march, though if you had parked next to the truck with the confederate flag you might have thought so (there was also a truck with an I voted for Kerry sticker nearby, so there were all sorts). Rather, it was a parade of several hundred tractors! Do I mean 300? No...I definitely mean many many more. Early on, a tractor went by that had the number 800-something on its little banner. I figured that meant they were giving out signs up to 1000 by some random distribution. An hour and twenty minutes later, I was fairly certain we were going to actually see 800-plus tractors. There were tractors with treads, tractors with wheels, tractors with steam engines, tractors with gas engines, tractors with kerosene engines, and even a tractor with an engine that had no fuel whatsoever...which is why it stalled and had to be pushed off the parade route, much to the chagrin of the owner.

Eryn loved the parade. She was also a fan of the square dancing, the free, endless, rides on the small train that did a several hundred yard loop, the 36 inch corn dogs, the horse-drawn wagon (also free), the animal barn (where she was conveniently urged to look at the little horses while the donkeys played leapfrog), the loud steam whistles on the tractors, the hand pump for playing at dish-washing (damn, we have been missing an opportunity), the guy carving bears out of logs with a chainsaw, the sawmill (run by a tractor), and the penny candy at the general store.

There were also thousands of things for sale at the threshing show mass garage sale. Unlike most garage sales, there were an inordinate number of tools for sale, as well as your usual junk. While Eryn was primarily interested in the cut-rate McDonald's furbies, Kyle disturbed us by buying a car door (un)lock(ing) kit, a blow dart gun with stunning darts, callipers, and a filet knife. A pair of gloves and some tape (both available) and we would have pegged him as a serial killer. He also spent an unusual amount of time trying to find cheap batteries for our digital camera, which had sucked up all its available power. Surprisingly, $1 battery sets leave a little to be desired, and tended to produce one picture per every four batteries.

I did find some treasures of my own, including these spray nozzles with brass fittings for about $5 (that's right...I'm showing you pictures of spray nozzles, I'm very proud of finding them so cheap as I still have a broken one lying in the back yard against the house)...

These cast iron banks. Albeit, the one of Boss Tweed is a reproduction, and I'm uncertain about the Humpty Dumpty, although I'm fairly certain it's a reproduction as well, but they're still pretty cool.

And this. This is a candlestick I bought for $1 for Dan'l. Surprisingly heavy in a Clue sort of way. You might remember that I just bought him a new video game and think this is unnecessary as a token of our lasting friendship, but you would be wrong. There were some other options. A decanter for syrup ($4). Three variations of a crappy little "I love you this much" statue (total $0.75). A farmer/hick t-shirt with a guy riding a pig. But this was the one I came back to. Cookie Queen will be able to appreciate it every time she goes into his computer room.


Anonymous said...

You missed the Oliver 99 stages in your life. When I was 14 I rode many many miles or many many acres on one. It was about a 48 to 50 model year. It sounded like a good time! I also rode a CO-OP sold by the CO-OP (cenix) farm company. Oh yes a large ford model and an Minneapolis Moline. If you recall it is still siting in the middle of a field with a broken axel. Then there were the John Deers. A converted iron wheel to rubber type you hand started. Then a second John Deer also manual start. After I left home your grandfather bought new tractors with cab, AC, sterio radio, FM two way radio with the house. The little fordson came for you to drive when you visited the farm.

Anonymous said...

Great....just great.....

Dan would have loved that whole experience - thank goodness we didn't go, I can't even imagine all the junk he would have bought!