The grounds of the Crawford County Historical Museum were occupied on Friday and Saturday by vintage tractors and tools dating back to the 1800s.

The grounds of the Crawford County Historical Museum were occupied on Friday and Saturday by vintage tractors and tools dating back to the 1800s.
Missing, however, were the usual crowds of area spectators taking in the 21st annual Antique Engine and Tractor Show. Joe Winter, show director, said this year’s attendance was notably less than at previous shows.
Winter, of Richards, Mo., believes the 100-degree temperatures had a lot to do with keeping people indoors.
“The crowd this year has been pretty small,” he said. “I think the heat has a lot to do with it. They haven’t come out like they normally do.”
Rick Trotnic, a member of the sponsoring Southeast Kansas Old Time Gas Engine and Tractor Club, said he also noticed the dip in attendance this year. He blames the heat, but also the lack of entertainment options at the show.
“I do think it’s the heat for the most part,” said Trotnic, his gray T-shirt drenched almost completely with perspiration. “It’s just so hot out here and people are staying home so they don’t have to battle the heat. Also, a lot of these types of shows provide music. I think if we could get a band in here, then we could get the general public here and it would really grow.”
For those who did withstand the heat, the show continues to amaze with its antique equipment.
“Some of this stuff is so old, it’s something that it still runs,” said Lester O’Neill of Moran. “I enjoy coming out and looking at these things, although I could do without some of this heat.”
Winter said “this old stuff” is interesting enough to bring out the die-hard fans, regardless of the temperature.
“Most people like me are still fascinated by old stuff,” he said as he showed of some twisted handle monkey wrenches from the 1890s. “The novelty of finding something out in a junk pile and making it run like it used to is just a fun thing to be doing.
“We’re a small show,” he said, “but we have a lot of unique stuff to see.”