Sep 8, 2011

Labor Day 2011 - An Antique Baby and The Death Trolley

Time rewinds to the 1800s as steam trains belch black coal, ripped draft horses plow sod and a blacksmith forges iron shoes by hand.

Electric trolleys, puttering Ford Model Ts and classy young Flappers swinging to jazz bring a taste of the Roaring '20s. 

An Advance Rumely steamer belts stack music as it bites logs on the sawmill.  A 1940s two cylinder Johnny Popper and Allis Chalmers work a heap o' wheat through the threshing machine.

A 2011 caramel apple is crammed down my face and destroyed in seconds.

Old Threshers Reunion is held each Labor Day weekend, I haven't missed more than a few since my dad started taking me in diapers three decades ago.  I'll still be attending in Depends in my old age.

Pigtails and I camped this year for a couple days.  We decided to hop the trolley down to the Log Village, a replica 1850s town replete with a one-room schoolhouse, blacksmith and woodshop, general store and pickles.  Lots of pickles.  Mini-Me was begging for a pickle on a stick.  Kids are obsessed with pickles, no?

So four or five 100-year-old trolleys run on a continuous loop for 15 hours a day for the 5 days of the Reunion.  It just so happened the one we stepped on had a "technical difficulty" and derailed a couple hundred feet out of the station.  Luckily, we were moving slow when it flew Dukes of Hazzard-style over a rail.  Other than a sharp jolt and the gal in front's sack of Kettle Corn exploding, nobody was hurt.

I'm fairly certain there would have been some major boo-boos had Mister Rogers Death Trolley bucked the track at full speed and tipped over.  Pigtails was upset about not being able to ride down to get her blasted pickle on a stick.  I was just happy to not be meeting Jesus at that moment. 

If you don't see any new B&P posts for awhile, please call search and rescue.  Tell them to look for a pasty skinny dude pinned beneath a trolley with caramel apple entrails on his face.

Time slide, go:

Let's go ahead and call this a WTF moment

An antique baby

Before there were grocery stores, there were hot chapped cow nipples

The medicine man pulling tricks on my kid

A coal-fired blacksmith shop

Sleeping on the job

Awake now, twirling twine into rope

Pigtails powered lathe, nearly 150 years old and runs like a top

Viola and hammered dulcimer bumping the old-time tunes

Hit the deck, brat on Deere is more dangerous than a trolley off the rails

Steam powered carousel, kids ride the hand-carved rocking horses for a dollar

1920s Case traction steam engine, this nasty brute will out-muscle modern diesel tractors

Beard knows how to operate a steam tractor, and James hates carousels

Can't wait until Labor Day 2012.  Though I'll be donning a bicycle helmet and neck donut before boarding next year.



  1. My little dude likes the pics. He is obsessed with tractors and trains, and actually has a video that breaks down the history that he would watch continuously if I let him. So next year, I'm sending him with you!

    Trolley fail, bad news, glad nobody was hurt. My kids hate pickles...don't know, they're strange anyway.

  2. Little dude is welcome to come next year, maybe a caramel apple instead of a pickle. Hundreds of Johnny Poppers, he'd be in heaven!


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