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Portland Show's Nazi Gestapo

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John C. Neagley

In Memory Of
Last Subscription Date
04/08/2018
I've been attending, camping and displaying engines and antique auto's & trucks at the Portland Show since the 1960's. Not anymore!

Last year I displayed my black 1922 Chevrolet roadster pickup. On Thursday I needed to pick up 3 Yellow Dog lamps from Phillip Sparks in the Oilfield Engine area near the OFES tent. Since these lamps are heavy and I do not own a golf cart & have bad shoulders, I decided to slowly drive my old Chevy roadster there to haul them back to the flea mkt. area. I was stopped by an official and sternly told I was violating show rules and ordered to drive that truck back to the designated antique vehicle area, park it, and he was going to follow me to make sure I did just that! As I prepared to do so, a sour pussed old lady on a 4 wheeler, others have referred to as "Gestapo Gertie", drove up and commenced to give me a ration of crap. I interrupted her and told her the fellow behind me already chewed me out and I wasn't going to stand for her to give me another dose of it! She sternly looked back to him and asked if he had this covered? He nodded "yes". She gave me a sour look and departed the scene of my crime.

After I returned my lampless antique truck to the designated display area, I found out the man following me was the President of the show and told him I took no offence to his reprimand. After he asked and found out why I had my truck in that area, he kindly offered to drive me back in his golf cart to retrieve my lamps and was very nice about it. End of matter. Not quite!

On Saturday while driving out to load up my truck and return home, I was stopped about 40 feet east of the showground exit's "STOP" sign by some woman about 35 years old I did not recognize who was yelling at me to "stop". ??

I observed "Gestapo Gertie" standing next to the "STOP" sign scowling, observing her assistant who promptly began to loudly scold me in front of all the many onlookers within earshot: Her:"What are you doing driving that truck on this road?" Me:"I'm leaving to go home." Her:"You haven't been driving that truck in the Oilfield Engine area again have you?" Me:"No, I have not." Her:"You'd better not be! We've been keeping an eye on you and if we catch you driving anywhere your not supposed to, we're going to call in "HELP[Sherriff?] Me:"Lady, I'm just trying to drive over and load up to go home!" Her:"Well, we're keeping an eye on you from now on!" "Gestapo Gerty nodded her head up and down approvingly.

Others have related to me "Gestapo Gertie's" rude, offensive, abusive, treatment of members and exhibitors contributing to the show in the past. Some of them stating they will never display equipment nor attend the Portland show again because of her abusive attack. Since I now drive a "condemed:mad: black 1922 Chevrolet truck" easily recognized, I can expect a random undeserved a$$ chewing whenever these women feel like giving one out, SO, I'll now join the many other exhibitors displaying only a golf cart.
 
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Power

Registered
HMM. Generally with people like that, I turn a deaf ear and keep doing what I was doing.
Really frustrates them when they are ignored:O
 

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/17/2019
I get flagged down every year when I try to leave Rough & Tumble. Thanks for coming, thanks for bringing your desplay. Hope we will see you next year.

This year at Coolsprings one of the staff stopped by and thanked me for coming. He reminded me that next year generators will be featured and asked if I will be there.

It's nice driving away with a smile.
 

MSchreiber

Subscriber
My first time exhibiting there on the last day at portland i got accused of putting show gas in my van. This was a few years back and had a argument with a couple stormtroopers that i brought the gas from home and didn't want to haul the surplus back. I believe that show ain't getting any better. I still go and show only with the historic construction chapter guys. they are thankful 4 construction exhibits.
 

John C. Neagley

In Memory Of
Last Subscription Date
04/08/2018
These 2 women have been given authority by the Portland show and have the County Sheriff standing right next to them to back it up. The choice to ignore them and "turn a deaf ear" is not an option or I would have gladly exorcized it!
 

Elden DuRand

In Memory Of
Age
78
Last Subscription Date
12/22/2017
That's a really good way to kill a show.

Once, at the Boonville, Indiana show, it was really muddy and, after dropping off my exhibit trailer, I didn't want to get my motorhome stuck, so asked a member of the host club where I could park that was dry. He said to just park by the shop building but make sure not to block the drive.

I got parked and here comes a guy ranting that If I didn't move, I would be towed at my expense. He wouldn't listen when I explained that another member had given me permission.

Instead of starting a war with an idiot, I moved to a far-away spot that was reasonably dry. Later, the guy who had said that I could park at the shop asked why I'd moved. When I explained, he apologized for the club and said that the guy wouldn't be a member the next year. I went back to the show several more times with no problems.

Goes to show that there are "south ends of northbound horses" everywhere.
 

KyleBlankenship

Subscriber
Age
33
Last Subscription Date
07/14/2019
we quit going to Portland a couple years ago for the week. now we just go one day and we also quit exhibiting. the girls at the gate between the show and camp grounds get on a high horse over a pass all the time. I forgot mine one day, we had the sticker on the cart and the 2 other people that were with me had theirs and we stopped and talked to a director that I know pretty well. the two girls wouldn't let me thru the gate... not even to turn around and go back to the camper and get it which was clear in b.f.e. oh well.

ill still attend the junk meet in the spring and the lawnmower fest in the fall but as for the show.... one day is enough.
 

Bill Hazzard

Registered
Last Subscription Date
08/28/2008
Copy your post and send it to the board of directors of the show. If they are smart they will do something about the problem. We had hired some over zealous parking attendants at Rough and Tumble one year and from the complaints, we did not hire them again.
 

Ben Busfield

Registered
Age
45
Last Subscription Date
02/12/2017
I have been to the Portland show two times and to the swap meet once and never again as well. I too have run in to the most unkind people at this show and swap meet. Its sad that some people are just a horses a@# but that is this day and age I guess. there are too many wonderful shows and good people at then to deal with a bad people at some shows this now makes the 3rd show grounds I will never go back too due to rude and unkind people. I have been to lost of show and one summer we went to about 35 show. in my 35 years of going to shows I guess that 3 bad apples did not spoil the bunch for me they just don't get my time or money
 

Odin

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/13/2019
Seems like every show has someone like that around. A few of the local shows here have been all but killed off that way, and are mostly flea market now with only a handful of engine exhibits.

Even worse is when flea market people start to complain about the noise and smoke from the engines. You came to an old engine show what did you expect to find here if not old engines that have existed before anyone even thought of establishing the EPA. Club president at the Pageant of Steam got a laugh out of that one when I told him about a flea market vendor complaining about the thick smoke coming from the steam engines.
 

BMyrkle

Registered
Last Subscription Date
06/05/2017
I was a little frustrated at a show I regularly attend last year as they worked out new logistical details.

It's hard to keep cool when you are working hard to get numerous displays hauled and set, and then find out that you can't use this or that gate anymore, or you don't have the right sticker on your truck or golf cart.

But, it makes a world of difference in how they approach you and handle it. If the person doing it can't be friendly, they need to find someone else.

---------- Post added at 08:50:52 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:45:16 AM ----------

Copy your post and send it to the board of directors of the show. If they are smart they will do something about the problem. We had hired some over zealous parking attendants at Rough and Tumble one year and from the complaints, we did not hire them again.
One of our local festivals (not an engine show) uses a couple Boy Scout troops as parking attendants and they always do a very nice, polite job.

And, I will add that I have seen show attendees and exhibitors be rude, too, not just volunteers. It comes from all sides.
 

Larry G.

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
This topic needs to be discussed here. If you have a dictator personality you don't need to work at a show. You always want visitors, vendors, exhibitors to come back next year. A " Thank You " always leaves a pleasant memory.

Larry G. ;)
 

Ronald E. McClellan

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
Two years ago I had a problem with the then president of the Portland club. He was a nasty bully. Haven't been back since. Ron
 

DieselAddicted

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/15/2019
I am not taking sides in this particular instance but there are (as usual) two sides to the issue. I have helped organize shows and it only takes a couple people who think they are special to give a person a bad attitude for a bit. I see it as unfortunate that are is a segment of the old engine/tractor fraternity that sees themselves as special people who deserve special treatment. (and I am not accusing the original poster here of that!!) and I blame the special SOBS as if not for them shows would not need people like "Gestapo Gertie"
That being said I have been ripped on several occasions for doing exactly what I was told to do at a show, this mostly happens when I am a first timer and dont know the lay out or rules. Makes it hard to not just load up and go home but I have never gone back to any of them.

Shows do need to keep watch on who they place in positions of authority, that's for sure. I found out years ago That I do not have what it takes, I stay too mad for too long.
 

FWurth

One Millionth Post
Last Subscription Date
07/29/2019
I think most of us have experienced this at some time or other, we had a similar experience at the Rock River show many years back and it left such a bad feeling that we've never returned. We camped where the director at the gate told us, and some supposedly high up member next door had a $hi+ fit and caused major confrontation! We were threatened physically by his big mouthed teen son, very nearly came to blows! I talked to the same director that placed us there and she turned on us as well, never returned and never will! I very nearly called for the police to have the jerk arrested. As stated above, these types come and go. We've seen more than one show go bad because of one or two self centered members, but time changes all things and those same difficult folks have either moved on or have passed on. And sure enough the shows involved got better and revived! Unfortunately all groups suffer from these same issues sooner or later. Perhaps a well placed written critique to the group meeting could help them reassign the volunteers to better suited areas? At some point you have nothing to lose if you aren't returning anyway.
 

uglyblue66

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
11/07/2018
I would think this website and the Portland show are both popular enough someone who is a authoritative position in that club will get this info.
That is very sad that woman had to holler at ye like that.Not only is it annoying,but it is embarrassing to be seen by spectators and your friends getting your ass chewed like a 5 year old for throwing a rock thru the church window.
Presentation is key.
I must admit,I would refrain from contributing a exhibit to that show as well.
A 22 Chevy is scarce and spectators probably enjoyed seeing it roaming around anyway.Your driving it was much less offensive than someone driving 1 of those 2 cycle smoky,smelly golf carts.
This show has been on my bucket list for a long time but after reading this,I aint so sure.For me it is quite a drive.
I guess this nazi attitude is spreading all over but until folks stand up and say no more,it will continue.
Without exhibitors, there is not a show.A club can assemble a fine collection and the first few years get by with few outsiders,but as time wears on,the spectator crowd grows weary of looking at the same thing each year and stop showing up.That is 1 of the reasons exhibitors bringing in stuff helps keep things going.
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
I had a run in at the Jacktown show many years ago. I used to display my 1950 IHC L-120 at my display site, along with my F/M 3 home lite plant. a guy who set up next to me wanted to spread out so his bratty kid could play in the dirt (throwing shovelfuls of dust into the air). the president of the club came up to me and told me I could not park my truck there,, I had to park it across the street. Oh, did I tell you, that a lot of the tractor pullers asked me to blow up their tires with the on board compressor I had installed on the engine of my truck? Well, I moved the truck, and parked it across the street. When tractor pull time came, the usual people came and asked if I would blow up their tires. "NOPE I was told I cannot park my truck on the grounds, and I am not going to walk out just to blow up tires. if you want air, go see R---- S----and ask him why I had to park across the street, when I had a display here for the last 5 years". Lots of POed people after that. My wife never attended the Jacktown show ever since. I still attend, I think that it is a great show, but it only takes one bad experience to put you off. I was thinking of going to Portland next year, but now ???. I would hate to drive all that way just to be put off by offensive gate keepers.
 

John C. Neagley

In Memory Of
Last Subscription Date
04/08/2018
Thank you for posting your reply. It summarizes my viewpoint and experience. The very few times I drove my 1922 Chevrolet inside the Portland showgrounds, many people expressed their approval and enjoyment in getting to hear and see it driven. While driving it with the spark retarded and in 1st gear, it moves slower than a walking pace.
I do recognize and respect the show's rules though. There has to be parameters set for the safety of all attendees. I very much resent their methods of rudely abusing their authority while enforcing them. By the way, I was told these 2 women are not officials or directors. They are volunteers who have been given, and obviously have become addicted to, the opiate of authority!
 

uglyblue66

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
11/07/2018
I remember a good many years ago at a show there was a woman,about 60,that was kinda rude some folks.Turned out she was later found to have cancer and had to be treated for it. After that she was back to being a polite lady i made a point to speak to when I went.
Sometimes folks have health issues that don't know it and it can affect their attitude. My former boss had the same exact issue with a brain tumor and his attitude was different every 5 minutes.

Hopefully next year those 2 ladies will be able to volunteer at the local military base where they can holler at the "little people" and get by with it.!
 
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