As chairperson for the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association Hall of Fame I am proud to announce Bob Alexander from Lompoc, California for Hall Of Fame 2002. Bob was selected from an extensive list of nominees and selected for his contributions to our hobby.
Jerry Mac Martin
Bob Alexander works behind the front lines to develop guidelines and plans for accomplishing the goals, and promoting philosophies that are similar to those of EDGE&TA. Bob was very instrumental in the organization of the Central Coast Vintage Machinery Association and later encouraged the affiliation with National EDGE&TA. Bob was the first president of Branch 27 and has served as an officer and board member several times since the founding of the club in 1985. He has been a member of Branches 3 and 8 in addition to Branch 27. He was instrumental in developing Branch 3 in its early day’s.
Currently, Branch 27 typically hosts about 15 shows a year. Early records indicate that this number has developed from 2-4 shows a year to the current 15. Bob has been encouraging and assisted in the development of the shows over this period of time. Bob has often served as host for at lease one of these shows each year, assisting with making the arrangements and encouraging members to participate.
Bob is always available to assist those who are involved with restoration of vintage equipment. This includes helpful hints to assist starting machines that have hit a balky spot to putting a strong hand to a flywheel to turn large engine, or lending parts from personal engines in order for a similar parts to be constructed for engines of club members. Not only does he assist in this direct manner, but he also is fond of showing and telling the story of how and why these type of tools were used to reduce labor-intensive jobs at numerous schools in the community. Bob is one of those folks who understands the children and their desire to learn and is willing to go the extra mile to accomplish education of the young. Recently Bob and his wife have acquired a vintage-braiding machine. This machine is powered by one of his vintage single cylinder engines. They are a major attraction at shows and typically have all ages of people watching and asking questions about this equipment. They provide a length of braided cord for a nominal fee to cover thread costs. Happy faces indicate the popularity of this exhibit. Bob and Elouise and their exhibit were featured in the Gas Engine Magazine (Nov. 2001).
Bob has also used inter-active exhibits to grind corn, slice cabbage, weave rope, and pump water. Frequently he will show a trailer-mounted active windmill lifting water that is dispersed through a series of faucets and other outlets. Bob always comes to a show with an active display, frequently with multiple engines and associated working attachments.
While the numbers of engines a nominee has in his or her possession probably should not carry a lot of weight in an eventual appointment, Bob has enough in his series of shops to make most club members drool a bit. But unless one goes to visit him, you will not know of the variety and extent of his collection. Several of his engines are unique and not commonly found in that area.
Bob and his wife travel extensively to participate in shows. Last year he made several trips to display engines. It is not unusual for him to travel over 10,000 miles a year to participate in various shows. He made a trip to Canada early in year 2001. Later he and his wife traveled to Portland, Indiana with a trailer load of engines to display and run. He spent eight weeks attending shows throughout the Midwest and New Mexico. He not only travels extensively, but also participates in many of the local chapter shows. Bob is very competent in restoring single cylinder engines, as well as old automotive engines.