Wagoner Bluegrass & Chili Festival

by Roger Due [9-10-2022].

Continue scrolling down for more photos.

One of the reasons I moved to the Tulsa area was that it provided a lot of new things for me to explore. It was a beautiful & hot day when I drove to Wagoner. Although I was interested in the music & chili contest, my main focus was to mingle among the people, view the various exhibits, and know where Wagoner was. I enjoyed chatting with a wide variety of people to learn more about some of the exhibits & the surrounding area. No matter where I walked, I could always hear the music. Although I had a great mid-afternoon meal, I didn’t take any photos of the restaurant. As you can see from the following photos, I was attracted to many of the exhibits. I grew up on a dairy farm in southern Indiana, so some of the farming equipment caught my attention.

Of course the kids need entertainment.

There was plenty of food everywhere.

At first you might think these are from Texas Longhorns, but they are from somewhere else in the world. I had a nice chat with the owner, yet don't remember the story. Maybe I should take notes the next time.

Years ago when we lived in the Boston area, I had a Honda CX500 & then upgraded to the Honda Goldwing GL1100, so motorcycles always catch my attention.

It is amazing how many 3-whelled motorcycles I see on the road these days.

There were a lot of old cars that received a lot of customization & loving care.

Who remembers the Beetle? When I was a kid, a family in our local town purchased one of the early Beetles & I remember that it sounded like a noisy lawnmower driving around town. In later years, I had one in the Boston area that I really liked.

This van has seen better days. The cow on the side indicates that many decades ago this van was used to deliver milk, eggs, ice cream, bread, & other grocery items to families in a neighborhood. I still remember a van like this delivering grocery products to my grandparents on my Mom's side who lived on a farm.

This 'baler' probably goes back before my time. It is used to create one bale of hay or straw at a time. The belt providing the power is connected to the pully on the tractor below. In the older days, farmers were not protected from the dust & dirt, like many tractors today have airconditioned cabs.

This little Ford tractor is similar to the Ferguson 20 & 30 that I used while growing up on the farm. Our dairy farm was hilly, so Dad always had tractors with the front wheels spread apart like you see here, instead of the 'tricycle' layout. I started doing actual field work with a disc & other equipment at age six, so this layout was a lot safer. I had to know how to shift gears from 1, 2, 3, 4 & use the clutch & brakes & other controls at that age.

I found this online photo of a rollover plow similar to the one we used on the Ferguson tractor. When we got to the end of the field we could turn around & flip the plow over & continue plowing where we had left off. This was especially handy on hillsides where we usually wanted the plow to turn the ground over towards the higher part of the hill. I was a little older than six when I was able to use this plow, although I don't remember when.

This is a larger tractor that has enough power to use a two-bottom plow to turn the soil over in preparation for planting. The little Ferguson I started with used a one-bottom rollover plow & then we used a disc to finish preparing the soil for planting.

My Grandfather on my Mom's side had a Farmall F-20 like this. I was probably in the 4th or 5th grade when I had enough strength to operate this tractor. The clutch was very stiff, so I had to hold on to the steering wheel with both hands & push very hard on the clutch & then use one hand to shift gears. An Uncle on a nearby farm had newer Farmalls that I used later on.

One of our neighbors had an Allis Chalmers with a tricycle front end, instead of the wheels spread like this.

I don't remember seeing any tractors like this when growing up on the farm & didn't take note of its make.

I was aware of the Minneapolis-Moline while growing up, yet never had the opportunity to work with one.

There were a number of farmers with John Deere tractors. I remember one neighbor who bought a one-cylinder John Deere that had a lot of power in those days. He used it one fall on our farm to power the silage chopper.

This is a diesel John Deere.

Today's tractors are huge, compared to what was available when I was a kid. The driver is protected from the elements in an airconditioned cab, has automatic transmission, & even GPS guidance to ensure proper spacing when preparing & planting large fields. Equipment of this size is used on large farms with hundreds or thousands of acres.

Notice how big this tractor is, compared to the man. These tractors are very heavy, so using 'tracks' instead of wheels is one way to better distribute the weight & minimize compacting the ground.

This online photo gives you an idea what the John Deere 9620RX can do. It is pulling a 12-bottom rollover plow, including the 2 discs on the left that help smooth the soil for planting. When he gets to the end of the field, the plow blades flip over so he can go back along this same side. It takes a massive amount of power to pull something like this. This engine is 620 hp.

Some large farms will prepare the soil, plant, & fertilize in a single pass like is shown here. So the next time you go shopping for groceries & purchase items grown on today's farms, stop & consider how much farming has been transformed in the last 100 years. These are major operations that require huge financial resources & skills to operate successfully. Farmers also have to accommodate changing weather conditions, cost of fuel, cost of equipment & repairs, & changing market conditions for selling their products, plus a whole host of other variables, including ever changing government regulations. Maybe we should be more thankful for what the farmers have to do to provide our food in the stores.