Monday, September 12, 2011

My Weekend

The weekend after Labor day is about my favorite weekend of the year. There are three really fantastic events that occur locally here on that one weekend. The growing season is winding down and we country folk need to unwind.

There is the Somerset County Historical Center's Mountain Crafts Days. There you can see old buildings that were moved to the site to preserve them for all to see. There are people doing crafts that are seldom remembered and done any longer. There is the way of life that can be observed and felt that is so far from our ways of today they seem like a dream.

All that to allow people to see how their ancestors lived. Here's their site.
I seldom go to that one, but it's definitely interesting and fun!

Another is the Stahlstown Flax Skutching. This is where they demonstrate how fine linen was made from the flax plant. There are many more demonstrations of how things were once done before the machines that took our work away. They have a website at, .

Ahh, but then is the one I hate to miss and seldom do. The New Centerville Fire Departments, Farmers and Threshermens Jubilee. There is so much going on there that I wouldn't want to try and list it all. They're website is,

All these events have great food made by real people. Not your fancy chefs but down home folk who make it with loving care. So I do in fact get away without cooking at home! Then it never fails, you get to see people you don't see for a long time and catch up on each others lives.

I like going to the Jubilee to watch the horse pulling contest. That is something that just about became extinct. After World War 2 the tractor came on the scene and replace the horse in the field. There are some Amish that refuse to use tractors and still use horses to help them get work done, but it's the people who love them and what they can do that has been they're salvation. By the time I was born and can remember, there were only a few older guys in the area that farmed with horses. But that was soon given up when they became to old to farm any longer.

The work horses are hooked to a sled where weight is added and each team has their chance to pull the sled.

The sled is pulled back down the track by a tractor.

After all that can, pull the sled the designated distance more weight is added in the form of 500 lb. Concrete blocks.

Eventually the weight becomes to much for the horse teams to pull and they lose.

Here are some pictures of some horses that were there.

And here is a short video that my wonderful son took just to let you see what it really is.

There are people who do crafts like this guy who makes brooms.

There are many more things to see as well. Apple Cider making (and drinking). Old gas run appliances. Old stationary equipment that was once used buy farms and households. Quilting and the sale of quilts. Crafts booths set up where you can buy crafts made by people throughout the year. And even a blacksmith working away in his shop.

Here is some farm equipment from over the years that I have saw come and go. Think I like the old Steam Tractors the most. The workmanship and beautiful details that were put into them amazes me and makes me long for the days when things like that mattered.

Miniature and fully working

The smaller of these steam tractors were actually designed and built by their owners. Once things like this catch your fancy, it's in your blood forever. These guys and ladies live and breathe steam and the smell of burning coal.

Then on towards evening as the sun begins to set we finally get to the thing that thrills me the most. The gang, tired from all the years hard work, in need of blowing of some steam and pent up energy and frustrations, breaks out with their toys of choice and create a little excitement of they're own with a really enjoyable competition.

The tractor pulling contest!
Some take their everyday farm tractors and pit them against each others skills to pull a weighted sled down a dirt track.

Here is the tractor sled they are using. As the sled gets drug down the track a weight sitting on top moves forward creating more drag on the front section where the sled is located.

This sled drags along the ground until either the tractor can pull no more or it has run out of track. It's a friendly competition that at times can get a little heated with jealousy and mistrust. But for the most part it's just a bunch of people out to have fun.

Here's a few of the tractors and operators as they're pulling.

Newer tractors, older tractors, even some that were built specifically for pulling. They have different classes for each.

Just in case you get an idea it's for the old guys only, here is a fellow who is eleven years old. It's in his blood at this young age and I don't doubt it will be for life.

And now for a surprise for you all, here is some evidence that it's not just for the men and boys.

Have to tell ya, my son says this is the kind of woman he wants! He thinks she's the perfect woman!

Here is a video taken by my son later in the evening. It's a pull by one of the big boys and his big boy toy.

Like I said, some of the tractors are just every day tractors that help around the farm, but some are labors of love and have a pile of cash put into building the perfect pulling machine. Heck there are even those that are nothing but professional pulling machines.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed what I've managed to show here. Just a lot of everyday people out and having a really great time. People seeing sights, sharing and learning. People just being people and having a fun time doing it. Life is to easy to let slip into a bundle of tears and grief. Sometimes you just have to join the world and let it all go.

Only one more thing. I have a question...

Just why is it, mom is always left alone to clean up the mess?

I also would like to give a ton of thanks to my youngest son. He helped by shooting a lot of these pictures and it was him that shot the videos.
Thank you!

Now before you go, how about clicking on that Join button and showing us your smiling face. We're all family here in this world. We all have similar problems and lives. We all put up with idiotic decisions made by our governments. But we all need each other to make a better world possible...

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