Gunther's Yard Show
Sunday, Dec 4, 2005
By Tom Lovejoy
†††† The weather was delightful this year and I was looking forward to a day of fun. George Gunther is a founding member of our chapter and a long time collector of all kinds of neat things from the past. George and family + friends have been having this little get together for about 25 years now. If you like all kinds of old stuff, from rusty, crusty and very possibly running, to pristine restorations. Its all there, free to enjoy - all that's ask is a gift or food for the less fortunate and a small charge for hot dogs and cokes.
†††† This year the Sun was out bright and as I was loading my Henderson and my 1925 Indian Scout, which is finally nearing completion. I was hoping for a good turnout, George always ask for some old motorcycles to show up, which is why I loaded up the Chevy. They could always use a couple more - so I am encouraging any and all members to show up for the next one. No matter what you got or what shape itís in, if itís old you'll fit right in. Itís a real kick back group of folks and you never know what is going to show up. I believe it has become about my favorite one day outing, I have a better time there than at the big show's.
†††† Every kind of antique vehicle or contraption, engine, bicycles, trains, gas pump's, pianos, just all kinds of neat old stuff. Stationary hit and miss engines running in all their glory, from small to huge! From miniature trans to the big stuff, miniature cranes to several ton bulldozers from the late 20's running and being driven through the yard! George and his son's, Bruce and Craig and probably many friends put out a lot of effort. Getting all kinds of old things all primed and ready for our entertainment, they are quite skilled in handling and maintaining the old machines and it show's. It's quite a thrill to watch some of the ancient beast come to life. To see a bulldozer from the twenties roar to life after being cranked by hand, or a hit and miss engine with I think at least 6 foot flywheel's come to life - cool stuff!!
†††† That's not the end of it even then, for on this special day of the Gunther show. All kind's of neat stuff keeps coming in. That's one of the coolest things about it; you never know what might show up. From Horseless Carriages to awesome Hot rod's, WW2 vehicles, model T's, old truck's, old stuff of all kinds - if youíre like most of us in the club, it's hard to beat. When I pulled into the yard this year, I was happy to see quite a large turnout and my old 47 COE fit right in. Saw lots of old friends and made some new ones. Mostly just had a great time visiting and admiring the old beast.
†††† For those of you who lean toward the motorcycle part of the hobbies, as I said George is a founding member of our chapter and he has been collecting along time and he has some real treasures, though maybe some would say in the rough. Still I bet almost all in our hobby would drule over them, I sure do :-) George grew up in
, was going to Hamilton Junior High when the big earth quake hit in 1933. His first motorcycle, a $10.00 1926 JD Harley which he used to ride to school, is that cool or what?† George mentioned he has had Indian's but never cared for them, he liked the Harley's and said Long Beach was a Harley town back then - before the war. Long Beach
††††† Back about the time I was being born, 1958 George had already been a member of multiple motorcycle clubsí - including the
motorcycle club and the Hill Toppers club. Not to mention the AMCA which was still quite new at the time and what about the So Cal Chapter? Our chapter was still years away from even forming. Back in 58 though, George and some few others were already looking for the old machines of all our interest. George and a buddy took off one morning headed for Long Beach Iowafalls, . After seeing an add in the AMCA news letter for some machines for sell. It was winter and the weather was in question, but they headed out in Georges new VW. They hit snow and ice in Iowa and some real rough going but that VW saw them through† Kansas
†††† The add was placed by a retiring long time Harley dealer, who had a habit of taking in old machines in trade. He was quite well known in the
area and though missing one arm still rode Harley's. George bought the machines up for sell and still has most of them today. What are they you ask? how about a 1910 Yale, 2 Flying Merkels of about the same vintage, 1915 Harley, 1911 Indian, wow!! That's not all George picked up a 02 Thor from J. Worth Alexander on the very day J.F.K. was assassinated. About 1970 George picked up a 09 Harley, which is in his shop nearing the end of its restoration. The lucky folks that made it to Guntherís this year, got to take a peek at most of these rare machines! Quite a special treat and a special bunch of folks. Our sincere thanks to George, Betty, Bruce and Craig + the many others who assisted in this fun filled day and to George for taking the time to relay a few of the tails from the good ol days in So Cal.† Iowa
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† See Ya next year, Tom.
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