Steve & Barbara Bales Grand Marshal Buckeye Days 2020
Interview with Steve Bales Sr. and Lara Serbin
Steve: Well I’m a third generation native of Buckeye. My mother was Alberta Beloat Bales and her father was John Beloat and John Beloat’s father was Bob Beloat and they homesteaded here in Buckeye 1891 . But then since me, my sons and grandkids and great grandkids I guess its 6th generation now. I was raised here all my life in the Buckeye area. My Dad farmed here and we farmed with the Beloat Family, developed a farm in Rainbow Valley and farmed it for many years. We have our headquarters Bales Hay here on the original Beloat Road in Liberty, Arizona. We have a feed lot, feed cattle, my sons along with by grandsons run the farm. They bale and sell a lot of hay.
Lara: Did you grow up in this house here?
Steve: No. My Great Great Grandad built this house at the turn of the century around 1904. Grandad lived there a while and my mother was raised there a little bit. Other family members lived in the house but I never did. My Dad and my Grandad Bales came here and moved along Perryville Road and my Dad grew up there.
Lara: What do you think kept you here for so long?
Steve: I love the country. Feels like home. Growing up as a kid, there were dirt roads and mostly little dairies. Some farms had 10 cows and others had 30, 40 cows all together. Milk cows grazed out here and were brought in to milk. The ranchers always had ranch cows (beef cattle) grazing on this land too. They would set the tin cans of milk out and the milk truck would come along and pick them up. Not like the big tankers we have today. That gradually changed and we started to see cotton and alfalfa in this country in the 1940’s. Lots of the little dairies quit. These fields here now used to be fenced off every 40 acres. Sometimes two fences around it.
Grandad Beloat had grazing land in Rainbow Valley and he would bring his cows to the homestead on Beloat Road when the grade would get too dry in Rainbow Valley which is dry desert.
Lara: What is your hope for this area in the future?
Steve: I hope this keeps progressing the way it is. It’s doing real good. I know we have more traffic and people. Seems like more news that we don’t desire. Bad things happen but you look at all the good things and the good is way better than the bad. We see all construction that is north of us now along the freeway and they leave the farms alone somewhat. There is a wonderful irrigation system for Buckeye. North of us one mile we have the Roosevelt Irrigation System that is considered Buckeye. Here at the Bales Hay we are on Buckeye Water Conservation Drainage District BWCDD and we have super water delivery for the people, we have a lot of water and the farmers are happy, they have good crops. Back in the day we had a one row cotton picker, then we went to 2 rows, then 4 rows and now we have 6 row cotton pickers. It is the same with our tractors. We used to say if you did 15 acres a day you did good, now we can do 100 acres a day real easy. Progress is great! I hate to see the whole country covered with houses. I don’t think it will happen too quickly.
Buckeye City, I feel a little sorry for the downtown. Development has progressed north of them along the Interstate 10 but the downtown is still there. You got that wonderful City Hall and a lot of employees downtown. It will stay there. Finally it will grow. It will be a good town. It won’t shrink, it will get better.
October 12th marks the 8th year of Oktoberfest in Buckeye! Originally, Oktoberfest was started in Bavaria, Germany more than 200 years ago. Who knows, maybe they had Sangria there? Traditional beer steins were part of the celebration. Over time steins became more ornate. A contest for the coolest beer stein is brewing at the 6th Street Plaza Sangria & Shopping Biergarten October 12th at 9 a.m. in Historic Downtown Buckeye, Arizona!
Look At My Stein Contest!
Jay Broadbent of the Powers-Leavitt Insurance, Rotary Club of Buckeye, Buckeye Elks and Buckeye Main Street Coalition gave us a peek at a few of his Anheuser-Busch steins. Jay started his collecting in 1979 which has grown to about 120 steins.
When I asked Jay why he started collecting steins he said, “I just enjoyed it and I was working for Budweiser at the time.”
Your stein should have a handle and a lid with a hinge.
Of course the Budweiser Frogs and the Budweiser Lizards from the swamp are a set.
Bill and Lin Horton made a big splash at Helzarockin’ Gem & Mineral Show last year! Misty Mountain is the name of their company and they arrived with a huge RV. I never thought I would ever care so much about EZUP tent anchor techniques. The Hortons are the masters of not only making beautiful jewelry with rocks and minerals but they know a lot about how to REALLY stake down a tent. Bill pulled out a stake that you could anchor a cruise ship with. I like that they are from Litchfield Park, practically neighbors for our West Valley Show coming up soon, October 11-13 of 2019.
What attracted you to live here in Litchfield Park, Arizona? Lin Horton:We wanted to move out of town with less traffic and crowds yet be relatively close to downtown.
When did you first start making jewelry? LH: Bill’s first rock show was the Pow wow in Quartzsite and ever since then he knew he wanted to be part of that world.
Who inspires you the most in the rock and gem world? LH: We both think the jewelry made by local craftsmen and jewelry found at the club shows are unique in both style and material
Donnie gave me a tour of some of the antique engines that will show at the Antique Engine Show for Buckeye Oktoberfest Saturday, October 12th at the Buckeye, Arena, 802 North First Street or Miller Road in Buckeye, Arizona. Redd Stanberry and Donnie Gideon not only work together at Arizona Gin Supply but are extremely knowledgeable and passionate collectors and mechanics of antique engines. Donnie Gideon says Redd’s been collecting anything that could spit at you since the late 1960’s. They even restored a 1914 Dempster windmill. Like any collector, Redd and Donnie not only like to get old engines running but also see how slow they can run, it is a THING with antique engine collectors.
Since cast metal engines weigh several tons, Redd and Donnie make custom steel carts with wheels on the bottom with a handle to pull.
Currently on the lift are Sta Rite’s twin engines, one from 1908 and the other from 1926 both 3 horse power. 110 years ago they were in the factory together coming out at the same time which is pretty rare to find. These Sta Rites are highly sought after because they are really well built engines. Racine was a company around in 1906. The company moved from Racine to Lacrosse so they only made a few engines. They folded under soon after moving to Lacrosse. There is a registry that collectors refer to that confirms they were in business and made only 100 engines. “When we got the engine, we tore it apart and have been rebuilding some things that were a little messed up”, says Donnie.
Gertrude is the nick name for a rare Sta Rite from 1910. Many collectors seek this cast metal rarity. Donnie says she has a clutch pulley used to engage a belt and run a corn grinder, water pump, drill or whatever early pioneers needed to use.
Gertrude runs off a magneto which means it has it’s own box that creates a spark, kind of like an alternator in your car. This is one of the first magnetos ever made. Originally it wasn’t built right. “It took us about 2 years to go through it with some help from other mechanics to figure out how to make it work right”, said Donnie. Redd found ways to improve it without messing with the engine. There is only one other like Gertrude and it is in Oregon. They are so rare, there is no paper work on these.
Redd has an engine that is pre John Deere. John Deere bought out the Waterloo Boy Tractor Company in 1918 in Waterloo, Iowa. Alot of these companies didn’t necessarily make their own engines. One company would make the engine and sell it to other companies which would slap their own label on the engine and sell it. These photos just don’t do these engines justice. You must go to the Antique Engine Show October 12th at the Buckeye Arena. Gates open at 9:00 a.m.