Saturday, November 18, 2023

150 Years Is A Long Time, Part 2

 I didn't plan to wait this long between this 3 post set, but I had a few things to do this week.  Anyways, thanks to all who read part 1, and at the end I posted links to more photos that I posted on Facebook shortly after the event.  The focus on today's post will revolve around the car show, but I do have a few other things to show around town.  I will talk about that a bit and then let the car show photos speak for themselves.  Not much more to intro for this post that I didn't in the last so let's begin.

This was actually a bonus photo that I took to show my mom I spotted another HHR in the wild.  My mom has an HHR and no matter where we go, we always spot one.  I don't think they've been in production in a decade, and even then was only around maybe 10 years.  However no matter what we see one when out and about, but none in the same grey color we have.  However after taking this photo and looking at it at home I noticed they have installed a little library in front of the Cafe.  It was a recent addition and I still need to check it out.  The Cafe has been there for a couple decades or so now, but I've only been inside less than 5 times. The food is good, but I just don't go often.  To me they have odd hours, only open during lunch time and on weekends.  I guess that's fine for a small town, but still.  It is somewhat popular with some of the trailriders and the farmers usually enjoy the lunch specials.  Inside it is a bit small, but its big enough to serve its purpose.  The land it sits on was once an empty field in the middle of the town, but was called the "American Legion Lot".  In the middle was a giant American Flag, much like the one seen in the background.  I had the honor of mowing it one time which I thought was cool.  Next to it on the right in that building section was the VFW building.  I only remember being inside the building once, for a Halloween costume contest.  I miss seeing the empty lot there, which I think could have been utilized as a small park maybe for the trail riders.  Though we already have two parks, one is called Lions Club park and is nothing more than a gazebo (which I'll show in a moment).  I think the better option would have been keep this lot grassy and put the gazebo in this area allowing for more room to do stuff.  However it wasn't meant to be, and the land was pieced out.  I forgot the order, but a Cafe, a hair stylist, and a rural doctor's office occupy the spot now.  I am glad we have those places, but still miss the land.

Here is the gazebo at the Lions Park.  One day I need to really take good photos of it and the display to the right.  Its odd I never did before since I lived next to it for like 5 years and my grandma lived there for another 10 or more.  During the festival, the gazebo was used as one of three (maybe 4) stages used and it wasn't a bad idea.  The concept was this was a wine garden.  I understand the beer garden, but not quite sure a wine garden was needed, but it seemed pretty full.  Next to it was a play area for kids.  However the games in the area were different.  They were mostly homemade, and some were just spoons, pots, and pans that were leftovers from garage sales (honestly my friend and I saw price stickers on a few of them).  I thought I took a picture but guess not.  On this occasion at the gazebo, one of the artists was performing.  I can't remember what Isaac Kenneth was singing, but none of the musicians I saw were one I heard of before (which I understand because it was an all free event and all localish artists), and one I probably wouldn't have gone out of the way to see.  That said, I thought all of them were good and glad they booked so many.  I still think future festivals could be held similar to this but only one day.  I think the gazebo is a good spot for events.  Where I'm standing is where the blacksmith demos and such were at which was mentioned in the first post in that newspaper.  I was skeptical of their layout for the events, but I must say it worked out well.  One problem is a highway runs through the middle of town, so it couldn't be closed for the event, but luckily it didn't cause too much problems.

In the photo you can see what looks like a yard sign.  Those were scattered around town, and were placed to signal places of historical significance.  They offered tram rides showing them, but I missed out on them.  My friend went on it a couple times, but said they didn't offer much more that what was displayed on the signs.  I didn't get pictures of all the signs, but I got a few as I walked between downtown and the apartment.

The first picture was placed at the aforementioned hardware store (where the flatbed truck was located).  I never knew the significance of that spot.  The college and Roe House were one's I knew a little bit about, but not too much.  I think it was odd we once had a college and several newspapers.  Not bad for a town that at its peak may have had 800 people.  Then again I think a lot of people forget the impact the MKT railroad had in the early 1900s.  Maybe in the future I will write another post about more of the history of the town.

On the Saturday, the steam engine association had a little more to display and was even running the steam engines (without warning those horns are loud).  It was nice to include them and also was a nice promotion for the Steam Engine show which is held in September each year.  That's another event I need to attend to take pictures of.  I've only been there once, it was in high school and I only went to work a concession stand (which allowed me to get out of school for a few hours).  Maybe the next couple years will be when I fully get into more local history.

One thing I was interested in was the food vendors.  They placed a priority on having food trucks for the event, but nothing special stood out.  I was hoping for a couple actual food trucks with a variety, but most of the food vendors were local clubs or a trailer which had a few foods.  It was still enough for the town, but I had a bit higher hopes.  It didn't help that there was a hot air balloon show in a nearby town (which we had 2-3 flying around on the Friday night, but I didn't have pictures).  There was also a food truck show in Columbia around 45 minutes away, which probably didn't help.

Here was another stage, which I thought was excellent utilization for the space.  It has been a long empty concrete platform, so for the event, they build some steps and made it look nice.  I only wish that they could use it more often for stuff.

The band that was performing while I was taking pictures was through most of their set, but I got to hear some.  The band's name- PILOT GROVE!  They are not named after our town, but it was kind of a cool deal to have them play, and they seemed excited to play the event judging by their Facebook.  Maybe a return can happen next year.

So now its time to start showing off one of the main things I was excited for- the car show.  I don't know what it is, but I like car shows, but I'm not a car guy.  While many will inspect a car for 20 minutes wanting to know "whats under the hood", I just like looking at the car a few moments and moving on.  I don't need to know all the information about the car.  In this instance I was hoping to see some cars that reminded me of years past cruising around town and I wasn't disappointed.

Since I'm still learning to use the camera when out in public, my finger makes a lot of cameos in these photos.  Again this isn't every picture I took, for that you can check out my Facebook links on the last post.  70's and 80's Chevy pickups I'll always take pictures of at car shows.  I wish there was a way for new technology to be implemented in older style cars to make them more efficient and safer.  Modern cars look so plain, even some cars in the 90's had more style.  The next photo was my friends truck.  It promotes his Tint Shop which he started in Pilot Grove, but moved to the next town over and does good business.  When I talked to him, it was nice to see him and how he's settled down.  He wasn't a wild child, but he wasn't as laid back as he is now.  His family was very nice, and it was nice to meet them after seeing them in Facebook posts off and on throughout the years.

My dad was a Chevy guy, so I guess I am drawn to them more.  Whenever we'd see a classic car he'd say something to the effect of "I use to have a car like that." Then he would proceed to tell how either one of his brothers wrecked it, or his dad sold it.  Those were fun stories.  When I had a newspapers trial I found an article where my dad flipped either a van or a truck and him and a bunch of friends flipped it back over and drove off.  Dad had a lot of car stories, and stories in general.

Some cars were local, and a lot weren't, I liked the variety.  My friend commented before the show that he hoped it wasn't just a bunch of 80s station wagons that grandma use to drive.  I told him I actually liked that idea of seeing cars that were normal.  To me a car show should be a mix of all years and types.  Even a 1997 Acura or something that might be worth 200 bucks or something is still something to look at.  I don't want it to be nothing but, but seeing them mixed in with 50's cruisers, and 2010 Dodge Hemi's is a nice variety.  The top car was a local I think. The variety of this show is why I hope they plan another one in the future.  It was on the school grounds, and a lot more full than I expected.  There wasn't another car show in the area that weekend, it was well promoted, and they had in total like 94 or so trophies to hand out.  It was like 27 categories or something. It was a lot and I think the turnout was huge.  

As much of a Chevy guy I am, I have to admit I like the Mustangs more than the Cameros.  While I didn't spend a lot of time on each car (my plans for the day had a lot more events to attend), it was nice to see the ones with pictures and trophies.  I also would have been fine if more of the hoods and trunks were closed. But I understand why they were open.  It was a bit odd to see many of the people cleaning their cars during the show, I figured they would have had them shined up before the show.

Again, a wide variety and I was happy to see some motorcycles.  I even spotted an El Camino, now I know someone I can tag on Twitter so he can look. That trunk of that Chevy was really cool and I should have spent more time trying to get better pictures of it, but I'm a bit anti-social, so the owner I think wanted to strike up a conversation so I started to move on.  Again, I like conversing but I had a lot of stuff to see, and I'm not a car guy, so I think we shared some pleasantries and that was it.

Found a station wagon, but not one I think a grandma would drive.  It was around this point it was getting a bit crowded so I tried my best with pictures.  Also had to take pictures around the judges inspecting the cars.  I'm not even sure who even won trophies for any of the events for the weekend.  By the time the weekend was over I was drained and was ready to move on.

One of my favorite entries was the MFA Oil gas truck.  I didn't expect something like it to be entered, so it was cool to see.  I might have took more photos of that than any other entry.

I don't have these in order of how I saw them, but these were some of my favorites.  

Probably my two favorite entries.  Overall I think it was a very good car show, and having it on the hill/grass was an unexpected move, but made it feel more rural so it was a nice touch.  It was right as you enter town also so you couldn't miss it.  I almost got ran over while looking at the cars too.

By almost, I mean, not in danger at all.  I just heard a horn honk and turned to see this driving by.  It was an old high school friend, and while I didn't get to talk to him, it did bring an unexpected moment.

At this point, I was finished with the car show, but the tractor show was on the other side of the building.  They had a speaker talking at the softball field which was wrapping up at this time as well (I caught his introduction but didn't stick around for his speaking, to beat the traffic looking at the car show).  I can't remember many details, but think he was a veteran that was somehow involved with the flyover which happened right at 9 A.M.  I flew right by before I could get my phone out for a picture.

Instead of mingling through the assembly crowd leaving the softball field, I decided to walk through the school which allowed me to see the quilt show (from the last post).  It worked out for the best.  After spending time looking at the quilts and talking to a friend, I moved over to the tractor show, which I never really attended before, but wasn't a lot.  I was okay with that, and it still had a variety.

Living in a small rural town, it makes sense to think I know about tractors.  I don't.  I know the names, but I couldn't tell you much about them.  I even lived on a farm for a few years and only know the guy we rented it from had crops but not even sure what it was (I was like 6 years old or so).  Even still I was happy to see there was a variety of tractors and brands.  Allis, Farmall, John Deere, most were here.

I must admit, I don't know much about Simpson tractors.  Maybe I should read up on them.  One of my favorites though was the Ford.  In fact it may have been my favorite if I didn't see one more that I recognized and the owner who was a friend of my dad's and I haven't talked to him in probably a decade.

Besides being used for farming, tractors in rural areas are also used for tractor pulls, and Mark ran this Oliver in many tractor pulls.  I've known him for three decades at least and it was nice catching up with him.  He's had this tractor for about as long, and actually started out doing garden tractor pulls with my dad.  My friend who owns the Tint Shop also ran garden tractors and graduated to tractors and eventually trucks (I miss the days of Bonesaw, his classic truck).  It would have been nice to see more tractors, especially the ones used for pulling.  It would also would have been nice to see some garden tractors on display too.  Our town use to host a garden tractor/tractor pull, in July each year, but it kind of outgrew the location so it moved.  I wish they could bring it back.

So that will wrap up this post.  The next post will feature some of the parade, and a few of the items on display at the museum.  That one might be a bit wordy so I thought this one would be a nice breather in-between longer posts.  This one has more words than I expected, but as I write, if I'm in the mood it starts flowing out.  Once I get tired of writing you can usually tell and I rush.  This one took a couple hours so not too bad, I expect the next one to be much longer.  Thanks everyone for reading, and if you want to see all the pictures I took, the links are at the end of the first post and I might post them again at the end of the next one.  Which vehicle was your favorite?  I hope everyone has a great weekend, as for me, I'm gearing up to watch Mizzou Football and a late night Formula 1 race before getting ready for some Monday Night Football with the Chiefs.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm hoping to have the final post this week.

  2. Your buddy's truck is really cool... and I like the Acura tossed into the mix :D. Seeing all of those old cars and trucks was really cool. But that Trans Am stole the show. Brought back memories of my childhood when I sat down and watched Smokey and the Bandit.

    1. That Trans Am was totally cool, and it was a local car. I was a little young when the driver cruised around town in it, but it made it even better being a local car.

  3. Future posts documenting more of the history of your town would make for good reading. I wouldn't have thought that a town that small could've supported a college, but obviously they did. I can only imagine how many local people were able to benefit from the school during it's time of operation.

    I haven't been to a lot of car shows (I'm not a car guy either), but the ones I have attended, I'm always more interested in the real cars, aka the ones that you've probably seen on the road. Weirdo customs/mash-ups and kit cars do very little for me. And that oil truck is really neat.

    1. By this point, card collecting isn't really the forefront of this blog, so I might venture into town history a bit more next year. The college is very interesting to me as well, and something I want to dive into.

      The real cars are the ones I like seeing most at car shows, though I like to see some of the cooler ones too. I wouldn't mind going to a couple car shows next year. The oil truck was really cool.