Saturday, March 12, 2011

Northland Oliver Collectors Association.

I love performing my show anywhere and everywhere, but I have a special affinity for tractor clubs. You see, we share the same purpose: preserving the heritage of the farm. Tractor clubs concentrate on restoring the great old machines; I concentrate on writing stories that preserve the images and details of the way things were done.
We all aim to have some fun in the process, and that is what everybody had at the Annual Winter Banquet for the Northland Oliver Collector's Association held at Huikko's Bowling and Entertainment Center in Buffalo, MN.
About a hundred members attended my program before the dinner of stuffed pork chops and grilled chicken was served. (great food!) They seemed to like the idea of preserving the farm stories and reacted with intensified interest when I told them, "We have to tell our own stories because, generally, big publishing houses on the east and west coast do not find us interesting." As evidence, I projected the newly accepted word "flyover states" on my screen as shown in the picture below:
As you see on the screen, "flyover states" is a new word from this last decade, defined as (derogatory) Central regions of the U.S. 
My emphasis here is not to encourage regionalism, but when it is thrust upon us, we must realize that telling the story of our farm heritage will probably not be done by textbooks published in other areas of the U. S.
Nancy and I enjoyed the delicious meal and great conversation after the show. People eagerly shared their stories of farming with us and book sales were good. We stayed for the auction, pictured below, which contained lots of good-humored kidding among members as donated items were auctioned for the benefit of the club. Auctioned items included everything from toy tractors to cookies and bread to afghans.

The last item to be auctioned was this coveted afghan in Oliver colors shown in the picture above. I would've loved to own it, but I'm not about to bid against these serious Oliver collectors. When Nancy and I first arrived that afternoon, I had asked a member how many Oliver tractors he had. "Fifty-nine," he answered proudly.
I knew then that I was out-classed as a collector.

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson

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