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Michigan old engine show bridges time
By BRETT McKAY
Michigan Correspondent

BUCKLEY, Mich. - Itís a warm August morning when 67-year-old Virl Wright rises from his bed. The time is 6 a.m.

He dresses and has a quick breakfast then itís off to work. This time his work is firing up his 1923, 7x10 Double Cylinder Frick. So begins this yearís Buckley Old Engine Show.

The Old Engine Show, which is now in its 39th year, is a popular destination for thousands of people from across the country. Itís the final chapter of summer in Northern Michigan and features a look into Americaís long-lost farming past.

On display are more than 700 antique tractors, exhibits on corn shelling and stone grinding, train rides, demonstrations in blacksmith and foundry work, a cider mill and a 550-lot flea market that stretches as far as the eye can see.

Wright, who is a Farwell, Mich. resident, was introduced to the hobby by a friend almost 30 years ago when he saw the 1923 Frick in a catalog. Wright and his friend traveled to Philadelphia to purchase the engine, and he was hooked.

Wright loves the Old Engine Show and enjoys putting on a show and answering visitorsí questions. ďPeople are curious, especially the women, and I like to show them,Ē he said. ďA lot of the younger generations havenít seen these before.Ē

Itís a rare occurrence when a generation gap can be bridged, and this is one such occasion, Wright believes. Everyone at the Old Engine Show, from the young to the old, share a common interest in this piece of Americana. As the steam engines stop their whistling and the old time music fades into the wind, so ends another successful Buckley Old Engine Show.

This farm news was published in the August 23, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

8/23/2006