Monday, September 12, 2011

Half Century of Progress 2011

Every other year, there is a Half Century of Progress Show. We've been to all but one. It's a farm show that features equipment from days gone by. The Husband looks forward to this for 2 years. So we all go and end up having a great time.
In 2009 it was cold (think 50's in Aug.) and wet and this year it was 90's and bone dry.

The show is held at an old air force base in Illinois. The grounds and runways are huge! The show takes up almost all of it and there are thousands of people. The picture above gives you a glimpse of how far away everything is.

Because of the distances, the Husband built this beauty. You really can't walk the whole place. Most people bring golf carts, but not us. He says it's a tractor show, so we'll be driving tractors. It really affords us a lot more room than a golf cart would. We get lots of comments from people about our "playpen".

The kids and I love riding around on it. We have room for all of us, the cooler and all the other junk we pack around. And the old bus seats are pretty comfortable. The shade was MUCH appreciated this year! The Husband loves to raise us up as high as it will go and then drop us. The kids laugh like hyenas and I just glare at him.

Because of the Baby, he added sides to our contraption, thus making it look like a playpen. I can't even begin to tell you how much nicer that was! I didn't have to worry about anybody falling (or jumping) off. I could keep her contained and she still had room to play with toys or stand up and move around.

Some friends joined us this year and I'm sure will be attending with us in 2013. They don't have kids yet, so we were kind and shared. ;)

This was the feature this year. I don't really understand what was so great about it. But everybody went nuts over it. The guy pictured is who made it. There is a different feature every show. I thought the years past were better. Perhaps it's because I could see what was great about them. For example, in 2005 they featured a 60-bottom plow being pulled by 3 steam engines, in 2007 they had 134 horses pulling a plow and in 2009, the feature was Big Bud. Those were just more impressive to me, but the Husband was very excited to see the Kinze.

I know this will sound strange. I could sit and watch tractors plow for hours. Really!! I love the sound and other than clothes that have dried on the line, fresh turned dirt is my favorite smell. Farming is in my blood.

I can't help but look at this old equipment and wonder about it's past. What's its story? Who were the people who owned this equipment? What was their life like - did they struggle to make it? Were there kids eager to drive it and help on the farm? Was it taken care of? Did it get passed from one generation to another like a treasured heirloom, sold or found rusting in some one's fence row?

My mind just races thinking about times gone by and what the farmers would think of farming today. The equipment is HUGE now! The farms are HUGE too. Was life better then than now? I know it was harder physically. But maybe it was better.

Anyway, the show is over. The tractors and implements have all been taken home. I know the Husband is already looking forward to the Half Century of Progress Show in 2013.

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