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The Dirty Pants Club

by Richie
Troy, Ohio

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 Under a spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Every September a couple of thousand blacksmiths convene in tiny Troy, Ohio. The annual convention is sponsored by SOFA (Southern Ohio Forge & Anvil), and is the signature event for those who like to beat upon hot iron.




We’ve attended for several years, camping at the fairgrounds where the Meet is held. It’s a great event – smoking forges, hammers ringing, rusty implements for sale. If you’re interested in the hobby, this is the place to buy and sell all the tools of the trade.


Guys (and gals) who come to this meet tend to be a bit grizzled, whether they are young or old. All display great guns (muscles), and are generally convivial and anxious to talk shop. Demonstrations and competitions are held all weekend, with lessons by expert forgers.


Steam Engine
Fire-Breathing Dragon
At a large gallery in the center, participants can display their creativity. There’s some real artistry in the pieces, showing many hours of dedicated work. (They also have a small table for Spouse Crafts, and I won a Blue Ribbon for my tatted doily.)


My Tatted Medallion