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George Best EDGETA Branch 15

I have known George for many years and have been on many trips with him in this part of the country.  I got to go to Holland to the international Engine Show at Nuenen in 2007.  We saw 21 private collections and took in a two-day show all in about 12 days.  Everywhere we went, everyone knew George – so it made the trip even that much easier.

George loves to organize trips and make all the contacts when he puts together a trip whether it’s Europe or her in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, or California.  He seems to be more than welcome wherever I have been with him.

He is a firm believer in the National Organization of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association and promotes it when the occasion arises.

Here are some of his qualifications:

  • George has been a longtime member of EDGE&TA Br. 15, having joined in the mid 1970’s.
  • He was vice-president of Br 15 for one year in the 1990’s.
  • He and his wife were Br. 15 Newsletter Editors in the 1990’s including 1995 when Br 15 hosted the National Show.
  • George started the website for Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association after talking with the officers after the 1995 National at the Brooks show.  George was our first “webmaster.”
  • George started the monthly publication, Western Iron Trader in 1997 and it has grown to be a 28-page publication providing free ads and promoting club events for most all clubs in the western states.  It currently has subscribers in almost all of the states and several other countries.
  • He has been host to several collectors from foreign countries and has taken them on tours of the collectors in the western states.  He also gathers up a few local collectors and takes off for a few days to visit other collectors in our surrounding states.
  • He has toured European collectors many times and has led tour groups to visit shows and collections in Holland, German, Belgium, and Switzerland.  These tours are know as the “European Hell on Wheels Tours,” because you cover a lot of ground in a hurry.  Most tours cover about 20 collections that are not open to the general public and a show in about ten days!!!  A tour of the OTTO museum is usually included.  On his tours you get to see the rarest of rare and early engines.
  • George has attended or exhibited at engine shows in many parts of the U.S. and as an exhibitor at a couple of shows in Holland.  He is well known by engine and tractor collectors around the world because of the Internet forums he is active on, as well as his extensive travels to visit collectors in many states and countries.
  • Viewers of RFD TV often comment on hearing George’s name mentioned any time the Carl Mehmke tractor collection show is rebroadcast.

Submitted by Les Layton, Branch 15