Monday, July 30, 2012

Berean Education Center 2012

On Tuesday we did a Farm Heritage Program for students ranging from preschool to grade six at Berean Education Center in Burnsville, Minnesota. This was our third visit to the school during three consecutive summers. Obviously, I very much appreciate being invited back to a school because I feel it is a vote of confidence from the staff and leadership that what I do is educational and worthwhile.

 Students listened to my program, which included my story If I Were a Farmer: Nancy's Adventure, and they asked a few questions after the the show,
Also of interest to the students was my wife Nancy's Farm Heritage Display of photographs (right side of screen) of children working on farms during the early and middle 1900s.
Feeling the oats is always a popular activity.

Berean is another one of those great schools that young children can feel lucky to attend. The staff is caring and professional and the whole environment is friendly and disciplined.

Nancy and I thank all the staff for sharing their valuable school time with us, and we especially thank Kristi Ollila for inviting us to the school and arranging our visit.

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson

Saturday, July 28, 2012

MVHL Summer Day Camp

Monday morning Nancy and I made the two-hour drive to Morton to do a show for the Minnesota Valley History Learning Center Summer Day Camp.

We arrived at the Morton City Hall by 11:00 AM to set up our equipment for a noon show, which would include my story, If I Were a Farmer: Nancy's Adventure.

The children would be going into grades 1-4 this fall and were an energetic and fun group. They sat on a ledge inside the town hall while we set up and this gave Nancy and me a chance to talk to them a short time.

The children seem to love attending the day camp where they learn about the environment and have fun with their friends.
 On Monday they sat on the floor, ready to learn a little about farming.

The kind, hard-working staff members attended the show too.

The children laughed at my father's antics with the cow's tail.
 They held up two fingers when I demonstrated how to teach a newborn calf to drink from a pail.
And they eagerly waved to Nancy as she snapped a photograph.

Honestly, I don't think I have ever performed for a happier group of children, but after all, it is summer and time to have fun while you learn, and it seems that MVHLC Summer Day Camp provides just the right agenda.
 The children were already happy, but when they found out that their camp was providing each of them with a free book for his or her very own, they seemed thrilled. Of course, so was I.
 Each child could chose any one from four of my titles. Then they lined up for me to sign them.

I enjoyed doing the show very much and Nancy and I enjoyed visiting with students and staff.
I thank all the staff members for allowing me to do my show during the summer camp, and I especially thank Summer Day Camp Coordinator Angie Colwell for inviting me, arranging my visit, and arranging to purchase a book for each child. After they received their free books, I told the children I would be depending on them to save the book and pass it on to their children some day so Farm Heritage would be preserved.

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Credit River Antique Tractor Club Show 2012

Last weekend marked the second time the Credit River Antique Tractor Club had its FREE show at the Cedar Lake Regional Park in Scott County, and everyone was glad to hear that the park will be the home for the Credit River Show for at least the next four years. Most members hope we can use the park far into the future.
The beautiful setting of the tall oaks and the calm lake make for a perfect family outing, offering swimming and fishing, music, food, and a time to relax and enjoy the outdoors with family.
The days were hot, but the lake and the shade trees had a cooling effect on everyone, and there was no reason to "work up a sweat" by hurrying. Everything waited for you.

Visitors walking in the gate on Friday, may have seen Jerry Schwinghammer using one of his fine antique Farmalls to level out a pile of wood chips. Yes, all these antique tractors run and are quite capable of working, too. The show was open to all for free on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8:00 AM to about 7:00 PM. Regular park hours are posted at the gate.
Leaders of the Credit River Antique Tractor Club handed out free programs and sold tickets to the
raffle off the Farmall Cub pictured below.

Nancy posing next to our 8N Ford tractor in front of our booth, where we displayed pictures of past farm activities in a Farm Heritage display and sold our Farm Heritage books for children and adults.

Tucked in among the trees and around the buildings of the farmstead, there were lots of tractors to see.

Venders offered unique crafts and some antiques for sale.

Parents bought books from us for their children and some of them posed with the kids for pictures.
Others gave me the privilege of posing with their children.

Instead of walking the grounds, you could sit in the shade to watch 
the tractor parade and let the tractors come to you.

Some visitors who came primarily to swim on the hot day took a break from their activities
 to enjoy the parade of tractors.

Bob Pexa (left) and Maynard Ohms provide music in the parade as they stood on the back of a truck restored and driven by Dick Mushitz.
Dick's brother Don rides along and cranks down the window so Nancy can get a clear photo of them.

After the parade, parents stop to buy books for their children and take photos in front of my tractor.

Some children like to pretend they're driving. I don't blame some tractor owners for not allowing people on the tractors, but when child or adult asks me I always say, "Yes"because I love it when I can make someone smile. 
I don't recommend climbing on the tractors when the owner is not around, but if the owner is present, just ask.
Many visitors rested in the big tent while they listened to music.

Lots of visitors enjoyed viewing Nancy's display of Farm heritage photographs of the past.
Nothing makes my day like a child hanging onto one of my books purchased by a parent, especially when they won't even allow us to put it in the bag but want to carry it with them as shown below.

The weather was hot, but I talked to three old-timers in their 90s who were walking around the grounds and enjoying the show. These guys are tough, but they assured me they were taking it "easy."
Those who came to the Credit River Antique Tractor Club Show enjoyed the day and appreciated all the work the members put in to make the show possible.

Although I am tempted, I am not going to list all those who worked hard for the show because I would probably omit a name or two, and the fact is that so much goes on, I don't think any one person really could list everyone who helped.
Unlike some of the big shows, like Pioneer Power near Le Sueur and Little Log near Hastings, the Credit River Show does not feature threshing, sawing lumber, or other farm activities. I admit that I love going to the big shows to see all the activities, and I truly marvel at all the work the members of those clubs accomplish.
The Credit River Show, however, offers a more quiet, leisurely outing with the family, like a picnic by a lake.
I thank all of the hard-working members and leaders who relentlessly appear day after day to contribute their time to make it possible.
And I thank Scott County Park board personnel for allowing us to use the park and for arranging all the special activities on Saturday.

Bob Pexa plays music as he sits in front of his restored Ford Jubilee and Farmall manure spreader.

Here are a few more parade pictures:

Here are some still pictures from the tractor display:

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson