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Loss may mean change at fair

Antique equipment operator passed away this week

August 31, 2011
By J.T. Whitehouse
“We’ll have [an antique farm equipment] show this year, but it will be different,” said Canfield Fair Board President Jim Brown Jr. on Tuesday.

That statement regarded the recent passing of Mike Duran of Bulgar, Pa. Duran had been the man in charge when it came to operating displays of antique equipment.

“He had a thresher, a shingle mill, a hand bailer, and a horse-powered hay bailer,” said Bill Fetty, one of the volunteer staff in the antique equipment display area.

Duran, a retired heavy equipment operator, had long enjoyed old machinery. For the past 25 years, he had been the man in charge at the fair when it came to showing what the machinery could do and how it operated. He would bring in his sons, brothers and other relatives to help him run the equipment.

On Sunday afternoon, Brown said he talked to Duran at the antique equipment displays. He said he was complaining that he had a stomach flu.

On Monday evening, word spread that Duran was taken to a hospital in Pennsylvania where he passed away during the early afternoon.

On Tuesday morning, Brown said it was a bit of a shock to learn of Duran's sudden passing and he immediately ordered a wreath to be placed at the announcing stand in the center of the antique equipment display in Duran’s honor.

While it was a sad time for all those involved with the equipment displays, all knew the show had to go on. Brown said it may be different than last year's show.

“We’ve had a setback, so we’ll regroup and things may be different,” Brown said.

He said he wants to be certain whoever takes over the operating equipment knows what they are doing. The main concern is safety, which Duran always made a priority during the fair.

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Fair Board President Jim Brown Jr., and antique farm equipment display directors Ray Bell and Bill Fetty stand in front of the old thrashing equipment in the antique equipment display at the Canfield Fairgrounds. It was a sad day on Monday when the men learned about the unexpected passing of Mike Duran, who oversaw the equipment demonstrations at the fair.



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