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7/2/09, Odon, IN - The team was hitched and on the road by 8 am. It was about a 10 mile trip through some very scenic back roads to the Graber farm, grounds for the 2009 Horse Progress Days (HPD). The weather was cool and the team moved off at a good trot.

About three miles short of the grounds, we were invited to stop at Glenís place for a couple of bales of hay and a chance to look at the Standardbred trotters he breeds. I had a nice visit and a chance to talk with an interesting man. As we got close to the HPD grounds 7 or 8 cars/people stopped us to chat and take pictures.

Entering the grounds, we held up traffic a bit as folks stopped by to welcome us.  Nick Graber has us located just to the east of the concession tents and barn. Iíve rigged a 40 x 50 ft corral for the horses and theyíre happily munching some good grass and watching all the other teams and cart horses.

All day long vendors were setting up and trying out their horse drawn equipment. I had several groups of folks stop by to say hi, including a few groups of Amish boys who have a lot of interest in the wagon and the trip.  They were kind enough to fetch several pails of water for the horses. It was nice chatting with the kids and hearing there perspective on Amish summer farm life.  Itís really quite similar to ďEnglishĒ kid farm life - a little fishing, swimming and chores. The Amish girls also squeal on the boys when they put frogs down the girls back (girls will be girls!)

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This evening, I was invited to a mostly Amish dinner at the Simon Graber complex.  This event was for the workers, international guests and the teamsters. It was very enjoyable and the food was excellent. I got a chance to sit with the Wengerd brothers from Pioneer Equipment Company. I had previously met and talked with Ferman Wengerd when I visited Pioneer to pick up the wagon tongue. Like Graber Steel, Pioneer is an Amish company that employs quite a few people and brings a lot of business to their community. Theyíre also one of the largest makers of draft horse equipment.

Some folks that know my granddad stopped by to say hi and bought a T-shirt.  I gave them one to take back with them for him. Since he canít wear it over his bib overhauls, heíll have to wear is Sunday pants if he wears it to the diner - I can just see his cronies kidding him about the pants!

Both tomorrow and Saturday Iím slated to give a seminar in the main arena at 1 pm. If Iíve got room to get out, Iíll hitch up the wagon and make it a little interactive. If not, Iíll just drive the team over. Thereís also a parade at 6 PM that Iím suppose to drive in.

Overall, this was a really great day.  Weíll see how it goes tomorrow when a few thousand more people are here.

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