Roy Blankinship looks forward to four days a year every time the calendar flips over.
It’s the Payne County Fair and for Blankinship, who lives near Ingalls and has been around Stillwater his entire life, it’s the time to see some of his fellow tractor-loving buddies.
Blankinship has three barns with several old tractors back at his place and the County Fair is his time to show some people how tractors used to be in the good old days. He isn’t the only one as guys come from all around, mainly Payne County, but also Logan and Oklahoma counties, to showcase their classic farm equipment.
“I was kind of raised in the era of these type of tractors,” Blankinship said. “These are tractors I knew when I was a kid and it seems natural that it fits and it’s a lot of fun to meet great people. Most of us are all about the same age group. We try to encourage young people to be involved. It is kind of a dying deal and we want to preserve history. These are history.”
Blankinship and his fellow tractor collectors rode around the square surrounding the Payne County Expo Center on Friday evening as part of the “Power of the Past” antique tractor parade.
The one he was riding – though he owned several that were in the event – was a 1953 John Deere 60, which was an upgrade on the popular John Deere A model.
There were not only John Deeres there, but also Case tractors and even some Ford models. Even though the technology has improved, Blankinship said he loves operating his older models.
“My new tractors have got six computers in them,” Blankinship said. “This is simple. I can move that in the barn at night and I can fix it. I can’t do that with the new ones.”
Blankinship loves getting to see his fellow buddies and some of them go all around the place showcasing tractors while most of them usually just come out for these four days.
“Most of the guys that are here this year, we usually have a guy come up from Oklahoma City, but this year he had some medical issues and he wasn’t able to be here and we sure miss him,” Blankinship said.
Even with all the other events going on at the fair Friday, people still stopped and watched the men show off their tractors in the parade, which Blankinship said he loves getting to see the younger crowd get a kick out of the machines.
“It’s fun and makes you feel good to see the little ones and kids wave at you. You wish you could take them for a ride on these tractors,” Blankinship said. “It’s just great and that is why we do it. We enjoy doing it and it is a great fellowship.”