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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Daughter at the Northwest Ag Show

I had written about this earlier but my iBook is dying. I bumped the power cord and lost it all. Actually a lot more complicated than that but we will just keep it simple.

Daughter was talking about the big Ag Show. (See posts below) On the last day I took her with me. Things were so dead that I figured she would have some time to see the show. Plus, brother took Dad up so there were plenty of us to man the booth.

She came prepared. She bought a little gameboy she got for Christmas, her notebook in which she says she is documenting her life, a blanket, plenty of marking pencils, a stuffed doggie, a mini windup emergency lantern, and a box of snacks. She immediately set up shop under one of the tables in our display. It is funny to watch her work. She carefully spread out her blanket, wound up the lantern and went to work in her notebook. She likes to draw. Does pretty well.

My brother was looking a the show so Sadie and I stayed in the booth with dad. We looked around a little bit. Checked out an industrial food dehydrator. Found out how it worked-blows warm air over the fruit. Found out that is how jerky is made. Fellow at the booth was happy to describe everything to her and offered her some fruit leather. She very politely declined. She is a little shy. I snagged it for her anyway.

Later we were able to take a tour. The tour was a bit frustrating for her. I’ve been at the show enough years that I know many exhibitors. When there are no customers it is pretty hard to make it across our building without talking and introducing the very shy daughter to everyone.

First we stopped at the JCB booth. Sadie really liked the mini- excavator and skid-steer. I liked the 45 mph fast-trac tractor. I would love to have one of those squirt boom loaders to move hay with. Salesman was very friendly with us so she got a good tour.

Next stop was the gopher blaster. I needed to spend more time with her there but I just got a call from someone who wanted to meet me in the next haul. She thought the exploding gopher tunnels were just the coolest thing.

She also was captivated by the grape harvester. It is kind of an amazing looking machine. It straddles two rows and has big rotating plastic fingers which pull the bunches of grapes off the vines. There are intermeshing plastic discs between the rows set up so the grape rows push the disks aside. I think these may also collect grapes. Then there are little conveyers on each side that take the grapes up to a box on top of the harvester. She was pretty impressed but I really didn’t know how it worked. There was no one there to tell us how it worked.

She also enjoyed the toy tractors at Reber’s Farm Toys. We had already been enjoying yoghurt covered raisins from Carols House of Nuts, so we went right by there. She was tempted by a mini sausage from the Pamper Chef folks but was again a little shy.

She picked out a Dodge Pickup from the farm toy booth. She really wanted it. Thinks I should buy one for real. I got her the one that says AGCO on it. She was quite happy, only $2.99.

Then we met a friend of mine from New Zealand. She did not believe that the reason he moved to the USA was that he was tired of always sliding down the floor and ending up against the wall. She says that the earth is round and that people on the bottom do not fall to the ceiling and that people on the sides do not slide up against the wall. Don’t know what the teach kids in school these days.

Standing around and talking is not what she likes to do so she headed back to her table in the booth. I took my friend to the Rankin booth to see a Aerway Pasture aerator. Only to discover that there are protected dealerships and Lehman Brothers can’t sell them. Fisher Lawn and Garden is the dealer. I said I brought you this customer he can’t buy it from the company that will never stock parts and he will have to beg to buy this from. Rankin salesman said he could sell it through AgWest or Linn Benton tractor so perhaps it will all work out.

My friend then spied loader brackets which could be bought from Lehman Brothers so perhaps I’ll get my bottle-o-pop commission on this deal.

I went back to find Sadie.

On our next mission we went to find the antique tractors. Sadie wanted to see the WWII tank. I think it was an M2, had a seven cylinder aircooled engine. Looked like an oven to drive. Crammed like five people in a tracked coffin. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M2_Light_Tank

There was also a Dodge 4wd staff car with was actually pretty cool. Saw an old stationary baler, a minature train layout, and helicopters.

Sadie was impressed with the helicopters used for spraying and Christmas tree harvesting. She got to look inside and actually touch one. She though the second copter was pretty funny. “It looks like a Dora helicopter,” she said.

I think she had a pretty good time. She played with her new toy pickup in the empty booth near us and also helped us take down the dispay.

Our tradition is to have a steak dinner after the show, although I don’t think we sold enough to pay for it. We went to Busters BBQ ribs. Sadie had a very expensive sausage and fries but she seemed quite happy.

I remember going to this show as a kid. Seemed like there was so much more. I miss all the demonstrations. Like the guy with drill bits that will drill through anything. Or the fellow welding pop cans. The fellow with the gopher hat was not even there. He is always pretty entertaining although you never want to fill out his card to win a TV because he will call you every morning at 7 a.m. until you buy something from him.

I remember the first New Holland chopper with metal alert. There was a display where you could stick a piece of wire into the feed rolls and they would stop and the alarm would go off.

Not so many advertising handouts either. No golf tees or matches or little squishy animals with pesticide company names on them. Key fobs and pens were in very short supply this year.

But we all had a good time.

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