MUFFY, Wabash and county work together

September 4, 2015

Three local organizations will join forces for the good of the community on Tuesday.

For the 43rd straight year, Wabash College freshmen will travel door-to-door throughout Crawfordsville seeking donations as part of the annual Residential Drive for the Montgomery United Fund For You. This year, the Wabash/MUFFY Residential Drive will take place 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“It’s a wonderful tradition,” said David Johnson, MUFFY’s Executive Director. “Local residents get to see Wabash College men doing good work for their new hometown, and these young men learn about the generosity of our community. Wabash is the only college that actively participates in a local fundraising drive like this, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”  

Wabash has been working with MUFFY in this capacity since 1973, meaning that some of today’s freshmen who knock on your door may be the grandsons of freshmen who volunteered with MUFFY years before.

During this year’s drive, Wabash men also will distribute flyers on behalf of the Montgomery County Health Department about their 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment Survey. The voluntary survey is a great way for the county to gauge health, wellness and other issues facing our community that may be alleviated by area service agencies, local governments and community organizations.

Residents are requested to turn on their porch lights Tuesday to help with safety and to show their support of the MUFFY campaign. Drive participants will be in teams of two or three students, wearing Wabash College clothing, and carrying official MUFFY campaign brochures and pledge forms.

Following the drive, students will gather at the Elston Homestead on Pike Street, home of Wabash College President Gregory Hess and his wife Lora, for a post-event reception with refreshments. MUFFY will be showcasing a 2015 Chevy Camaro Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car at the Elston Homestead that evening for students who would like to check it out. The car is a grand prize available to the first golfer to hit a hole-in-one on Hole #6 during MUFFY’s Charity Golf Scramble, which will take place the following day on Wednesday at Rocky Ridge Golf Club. To register for the scramble, visit muffy.org/golf.html.

Centennial celebration

September 4, 2015

DARLINGTON — A grandfather clock in the corner of the Darlington Library has kept time since 1915. Through the past century the clock’s rhythmic tick-tock sound has filled the building. It has faithfully greeted visitors to the library and on Sept. 12, from 2 to 5 p.m., the clock will mark the library’s 100th anniversary celebration for the community.

More than 100 years ago, Darlington citizens applied for and received a grant to construct the library from Andrew Carnegie. He financed 2,508 other libraries between 1883 and 1929. There were 1,689 Carnegie libraries built in the United States, including those built in the communities of Crawfordsville, Linden and Waveland. 

John Dale has been the library director since 1990. The Darlington native has made it a point to study the history of the library as well as those who helped create the library in northwest Montgomery County. The Darlington Book Club started the effort for the library, which was eventually built at the cost of $10,000.

“Darlington had some progressive citizens who saw the importance of having a community library,” Dale said. “It is hard to imagine how many people have used the library services in the past 100 years, but the library is still an important part of the town today as it was 100 years ago.”

Dale said the Darlington

Library Board has worked to keep services relevant. With technology rapidly changing, the library has tried to keep up by adding wi-fi, a website and an electronic filing system.

“We have been fortunate in Darlington that we still have progressive people on our library board,” Dale said. “I am glad that in the 1990’s the board decided to keep the original building. In 2009 an addition was constructed using only private funds.

The addition, which made the facility handicap accessible, did not affect the local tax rate at all.

Dale said despite being in the age of computers and instant information at people’s fingertips, library usage has continued to climb. When Dale started as the librarian in 1990, there were 4,500 items checked out. In 2014, Dale said that number increased to nearly 19,000 items.

“There are people who still want a book in their hands,” Dale said. “Our traffic at the library has increased almost three times of what it was when I started as the librarian.”

The library today has more than 15,000 books as well as books on CDs. Patrons also can check out music CDs, DVDs, magazines and there are Internet services available. Dale, who is a published historian, also is proud the library has old Darlington newspapers on microfilm and an extensive collection of local Darlington school and town memorabilia. 

During the celebration there will be a Friends of the Library book sale. Special Darlington license plates also will be available for purchase. Visitors will be able to tour the local history room, which has a classroom featuring items from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. A video of a 1960 Darlington versus New Ross basketball game will be shown. 

One more certain thing will happen during the celebration — the grandfather clock will keep on ticking.

Restoring Past Glory

September 4, 2015

Drake Davis, a senior at Southmont High School, is preparing to compete for the third time in the 2015 Chevron Delo Tractor Restoration Contest.

Davis just finished restoring an old, rusty, 1935 Farmall F12. Steve Campbell, the previous owner of the tractor, wanted to do the restoration himself but didn’t have time. So when he heard about Davis’ previous restoration projects, Campbell contacted Southmont.

“I pretty much don’t even go out and find the tractors,” Davis said. “The tractors find me. I think it’s amazing how it works because everyone

just calls me.”

Before people came to him with projects, Davis’ first restoration was his family’s 1949 Farmall Cub.

“We used it every day,” he said. “We used it on the farm. We’d spread manure with it. My dad used to pull me and my sister on a sled with it, and I used to mow the yard all the time with my dad on it. Then it backfired and just quit working. It sat for seven years, and then I just kept on begging my dad and mom to let me restore it.”

Davis and fellow students Joel Record and Cory Hutchinson worked on the tractor then submitted it in the 2013 Chevron Delo Tractor Restoration Contest. 

Davis was named a top 12 national finalist in the contest both that year and the following year in 2014. His second tractor was his uncle’s 1962 Farmall 504.

“This takes a lot of time and dedication to complete such a project,” Daniel Davis, Drake’s father said. “The tractor has to be torn down to the last bolt and put back together.”

Davis’ last restoration, the F12, took approximately 150 hours to complete. Other restorations might take longer, but the F12 is a smaller tractor. However, the time commitment is always large.

“I come home and start working on my tractor around 5:30 p.m.,” Davis said. “I go in for dinner, and then I go back out and stay out until about 9:30 p.m.”

Davis calls this hobby an “addiction.” It can be frustrating at times, but it can also be stress-relieving and a lot of fun.

“I think it’s extremely fun just restoring a piece of American history,” he said. “If you think about it, these tractors are pretty much rusting away into the ground; they’re just disappearing. Getting the old tractors back up and running again and bringing them back to life is an amazing thing. Some day, these tractors may be in a museum, and they could be presented all over the world.”

Before this recent restoration makes history, Davis hopes it — like his previous two tractors — makes it into the top 12 of the Chevron Delo contest. The top 12 finalists will be announced Sept. 14.

The Chevron Delo Tractor Restoration Contest is open to high school students. If selected as a finalist, the student is invited to present the project at the National FFA Convention in October. It is then followed by an awards banquet where the top three students are recognized.

“It is an honor and resume material just to be a finalist,” Daniel Davis said.

However, the judges never see his tractor in person. The contest entries are judged from an 80-page workbook, complete with pictures and reports, and a three to five minute video that shows the tractor in working condition.

The video Davis created of his F12 is also part of a video contest within the larger Chevron Delo contest. The video can be found on YouTube along with all of the other entries by searching 2015 Chevron Delo TRC. Davis is asking everyone to visit www.delotrcvoting.com/registration on Monday and vote three times a day for his video. Video voting will still continue for all of the tractors until Oct. 23.

While he waits for results for this year’s contest, Davis is already working on next year’s entry. He is currently working on a 1978 International 1086 for the 2016 contest. As long as the restoration begins during a student’s senior year, the student is still eligible to enter the following year’s contest. 

Davis hopes that he will be able to finish it by next year’s August deadline.

“This one’s going to take a lot more time,” he said. “It’s bigger, diesel and has a cab. It’s going to be a bear.”

Davis is a member of the Southmont FFA Chapter. He competes in various other contests throughout the year. He does soils judging, crop judging, parliamentary procedure, floriculture, interview contest, district contest, works in the newsroom at the state convention and helps with many community service projects. He just earned his FFA State Degree this past summer. 

Davis also will be featured in the September/October “Vintage Tractor Digest” magazine. There is four-page article, with pictures, showing his restorations.

Crawfordsville begins street work Thursday

July 22, 2015

The city will be milling and repaving the following city streets starting on Thursday:

• Wabash Avenue (Grace Ave to US 136)

• Englewood Drive (US 136 to SR 32)

• Pine Street (Binford to Market St)

• Elm Street (South Blvd to South entrance to Whitlock Place)

• Spring Street (Walnut St to Green St)

• Pine Stine (Wabash Ave to Pike St)

• Glenn Street (Wabash Ave to Bridge)

“To do this we will require all vehicles be removed from the above mentioned streets prior to 6 a.m. on Thursday,” Street Commissioner Scott Hesler said. “Any vehicles not removed by this time will be towed at the owner’s expense. Please keep all vehicles off of the streets until the project is complete.” 

Weather delays are possible.

“We will mill all streets prior to paving,” Hesler said. “Meaning there might be a few days gap between when your street is milled and when it is repaved. The contractor determines this schedule.”

Should you have any questions you can contact Hesler at 364-5166 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.