Milkhouse in Alexander, New York

This pretty little red building (a former milkhouse) is on the grounds where the Western New York Gas and Steam Engine Show is held in Alexander, NY. This image was taken because Jim would like to make a watercolor painting of it someday.

Elizabeth's mom, Eileen, tries to keep up with Jim as they head for a field of green. Jim was anxious to admire all the fine examples of restoration. Eileen, on the other hand, took a trip down memory lane as a former operator of three of these green machines and at least one red one.

Jim in a Hurry to Admire Restored John Deere Tractors

Kyle Glossner's Pumpkin Cannons

Kyle Glossner and his wife built these two fine pumpkin cannons. The large orange chambers hold compressed air. They travel about the area during the fall season demonstrating just how far a pumpkin can fly. The right cannon was just fired by his wife and the camera caught the pumpkin in flight. Also visible is the muzzle blast vapor which lasts for an instant. The pumpkins were landing just in front of the row of trees in the background.

Below, Jim takes careful aim at a downrange target using a cannon that was built for the spectators to try their hand at pumpkin shooting. While he has a military-awarded Marksmanship Medal he missed on the first try but blames his poor performance on an imperfect pumpkin. The cannon is suspended on a gimbal and easily to aim and fire. The cylinder must be pumped full of compressed air for each discharge.

Sadly, Kyle Glossner passed away in early 2007. His body was carried to his ancestors cemetery on a horse drawn wagon followed by many family members and even more friends.

Jim Takes Air With Pumpkin Gun

Truck Pulling Demonstration

The show is held over four days. One evening the tractor pull highlighted machines other than vintage tractors pulling the sled. After watching vintage farm tractors pulling the sled back and forth the previous night, it was exciting to see this flame-belching Mack truck pull the sled. This event was billed as one of the highlights of the day/night and it was worth waiting for--even on a hard bleacher seat. From our vantage point high on the bleachers we watched this truck being hauled in on another truck. This is the first pulling truck we have seen in all of our travels and tractor pulls and shows. It is one of those events where little ones were advised to protect their ears from the noise.

Sparks Fly From Steam Engine at Night

The night's pull that highlighted the steam traction engine, showcased six of the old machines. The engines had no problem pulling the sled down the track. We have seen lots of these engines at other festivals, however, we had never seen one under load at night. It was a great fireworks display.

When we were in Georgia working on our house near railroad tracks, we were told by neighbor Bill that his mom would shoo him inside whenever a train was coming down the track for fear flying sparks would set his hair on fire. During the age of steam locomotives, houses adjoining the tracks had tin roofs and no grass in their yard.

A tradition at the show is to invite all the kids in the stands to a tug-of-war with the steam engine. While the group with heels dug in were able to roll the engine backwards, a touch on the throttle and a puff of steam showed there was no match. Each child was given a slip of paper acknowledging how they had help pull the big old Reeves engine backwards.

Tug-of-War with Steam Engine