Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Tractor Pull

A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
Thomas Mann
It seems I've had a bit of a "blogger's block". As soon as I decided to start this blogging thing there were so many other things to do. It all began with great intentions then I wandered off to clean the garage or something. Just got caught what I really can't tell. Here it is almost two years later. In any case...

We were wandering around Madison County one Saturday morning recently, looking for something interesting to photograph. Bouckville and nearby Madison are renown for their antique shops and old stuff. It's often interesting to shoot there. The thought was to go to Bouckville for a spring antique show. Antique shows can be quite the spectacle if the crowd is good and there are lots of vendors with interesting and genuine old stuff. Well, this antique show was pushing the antique season a little early, pretty small and really didn't have much going on. We decided it wasn't worth getting out of the car. Besides, we have lots of not so compelling pictures of old stuff already. A few more uninspired shots of 19th century hand planes or dilapidated Davenports were not what the portfolio needed.

We decided to wander a little more to see what might turn up. We meandered off Route 20 onto some back roads along the Chenango Canal and ended up in Oriskany Falls. Oriskany Falls is a quiet-but-not-quite-quaint rural village. Not often thought of as a hotbed of photographic inspiration. Photographically, it wasn't looking good. We took a hard right onto Rt 46 south and saw there was an antique tractor and truck show in the field near the volunteer fire company. Looked interesting. Admission was free. Lots of free parking.

The place was full of tractors, trucks and assorted machinery from the early 20th century. Many pieces had been lovingly restored to showroom or better condition. All the big names were there: Oliver. McCormick. John Deere. Icons of our mechanized agrarian age. It was a remarkable collection of inspired iron. Looked like all of it still ran. I think that may have been part of the criteria for entry. You had to be able to fire it up!