Monday, August 26, 2019

And ANOTHER fun weekend!

We began planning this particular road trip on January 14th; that's when I reserved a motel room and a golf cart for a huge tractor show in August, The Half-Century of Progress, at Rantoul, Illinois.  The $100 per day for a golf cart is some of the best money we've every spent.  The show is held on the grounds of an airport, "Rantoul National Aviation Center", formerly known as Chanute Air Force Base; we saw very few people actually walking through the exhibits; even young folks all had some sort of motorized thing to get them around the place.  Lots of folks brought their own golf carts, garden tractors, or anything else that would propel them around the huge grounds.  They do have to keep their speed below five miles per hour, whatever they use.  It's an orderly crowd, and a friendly one.  You can strike up a conversation with almost anyone you see and it's like they are old friends.  

This shows people riding various vehicles they brought from home to ride, heading to the entry of the show.  
I did get accused of having a southern accent at one point.  This happens frequently, although I've always lived in the midwest.  Here's what caused with my "accent":  When I graduated high school, I spoke the King's English.  Never would an "ain't" be heard coming from my educated lips; why, back then I was embarrassed by my dad's use of the word "ain't" and the overalls he wore.  That all changed when rock and roll evolved from Elvis into the Beatles, a group I didn't like or understand at the time (I like some of their stuff now).  Anyway, at the time, I worked with a woman who talked a lot about her country music, especially George Jones.  I asked her where I could find the station she listened to on my radio dial and became a country music fan overnight, even buying myself a cheap guitar so I could sing Honky-tonk Angel.  Those country singers all had accents that came through, even in their songs, and I guess I admired that, because I began talking like Loretta Lynn without even realizing it.  I've been stuck with the fake southern accent so long, it's natural to me now.  

The motel we booked was pretty crummy, but it was cheap; and while the hallways smelled of musty cigarette smoke, our room was very clean.  It was a Motel 6, so no breakfast was served; I solved that by taking the electric skillet:  We had bread and gravy the first morning and then pancakes for supper.  The second morning we each had an egg sandwich.  I'd also taken along some cantaloupe and grapes, so we had fruit whenever we wanted it.  

It was a long, six-hour drive from Kansas City to middle Illinois, but we weren't delayed by road work anywhere and made good time.  I picked an audio-book at random from the public library, Sue Grafton's "'P' is for Peril", written in 1986.  The first half of it was pretty slow, with very little action.  Still, it made the miles go by faster.  Coming home, the story got more interesting; unfortunately, we didn't finish it before we got home.  Maybe we'll listen to the rest during our after-dinner siesta time.  We need to know how our heroine stymies the bad guys!

One of the best things about the weekend was the weather!  It could have been raining, or it could have been 100 degrees; however, we had highs in the 80's, with downright chilly mornings.  You don't often see that in August.  It was perfect weather.  

Like much of the country, Illinois farmers have had far more rain than they'd like.  At one point we chatted with a man who goes to the farms checking the crop damage so they can receive the money that's theirs from crop insurance.  He's seen some claims that yielded checks over half a million dollars, he said.

I'll be back with more tomorrow.  This is just a start.  I will leave you with a couple of pictures, one before and one after restoration.  Yes, it really is the same tractor in both shots.

Lousy picture, I know.  But you get the idea.

This tractor was professionally restored.  The finish on it is like you'd expect to see on a car; these old tractors weren't that shiny when they were brand new.  The cost of having these people restore a tractor is far, far beyond anything we could afford, though.  It's a good thing Cliff can paint his own.

Time to get Cliff out of bed.  I'll be back tomorrow with more stories of our wild weekend (ha!).


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Our August weather had been beautiful too. Mid 80's and low humidity, nice summer breezes and just downright enjoyable. Same here to on the rain in the spring. 1/3 the corn crop lost they way. Millions of dollars lost if not for insurance.e Hopefully they all had it.

Margaret said...

It's been a mostly beautiful summer here also. I'm thankful that August hasn't been too smoky. Southern accents are easy to pick up for some reason. If I'm around people who have them, I unconsciously talk like that too. Sounds like a great time!

Margie's Musings said...

Just this week has been tolerable. Every other week in August has been horrendously hot and muggy.