Time slips by with so much to explore
For some of us who have made the annual pilgrimage to the Wimmera Machinery Field Days for most of their working lives, the stories and experiences from the event are many and varied.
What has always been a constant for the three-day event is the opportunity it presents to help someone find that crucial something, whether it be for work or play.
One experience that quickly springs to mind comes from several years ago when a couple of mates caught up, one who had completed his journalistic duties in covering the event, the other a farmer’s son. While both were simply enjoying a break to have a wander through the Longerenong site, they were also on a mission – one armed with a map and under instruction to find some sort of unique part for a header, the other searching for, of all things, a decent hat.
After initial discussions at the gate, the general consensus was the two assignments wouldn’t take any more than half an hour.
The trouble was, hunting for that machinery part and that elusive hat expanded into a long afternoon across several hours.
Was it because it was hard to find both items? Not at all. In fact, while the hat, which had to be highly functional but stylish enough to wear to significant events, took a little while to source, the machinery part was secured from a helpful dealer in only a few minutes.
The problem was, there were countless other things that constantly caught the duo’s eye and combined with bumping into people they knew, which always led to great conversations about ‘the world’, time quickly disappeared.
At the end of the day, as site-holders were packing up for the evening and patrons were gradually making their way towards the gate, the pair joked about how many product and promotional bags they were carrying in each hand.
In one bag there was a bottle of wine tingling against a whiz-bang universal tool and an ingenious water-irrigation timing system.
In another was a codlin-moth trap for a fruit tree, a pack of new-look ‘no-fail’ mouse traps and a selection of fishing lures. And of course there were bags full of countless brochures and information sheets.
But hang on a minute! As the pair wearily reached the car, unlocked the doors and started unloading their collections, there was a dreadful moment of revelation.
Where was that ripper hat? It wasn’t on the head, where it had spent much of the afternoon, and it wasn’t in a bag. Groan. Time to retrace the steps.
Sure enough, after much swearing, cursing and spending another hour revisiting many of places they had been during the day, there it finally was, sitting on the front of a ride-on lawnmower.
That’s right, the pair had stopped for a chat with a mate and the one with the hat had removed it to brag about it’s quality – only to then leave it behind.
For the record, the hat was last seen heading south towards Lady Julia Percy Island after being blown off a head into the sea at the Crags near Port Fairy.