ERICK, OKLAHOMA -- If you want to discuss windmills of any kind Curtis G. Austin is the man to see.
"I didn't know straight up from sideways on them when I started working on them," he admits.
He grew up with them.
Over 86 years he's worked on just about every brand of windmill ever made.
He says, "It gets in your blood."
Curtis will still repair windmills is someone has one they want to keep.
More often though, he snatches them from the tall prairie grass or from abandoned water wells.
From the same yard he's worked in for nearly 70 years, with tools he either made or kept, Austin saves as many windmills as he can for his own growing collection.
Outside his workshop east of town Curtis displays the long line of wind catchers that helped bring water to the dry plains.
He knows every one, where it came from, and who made it.
His restored treasures could turn again, but they don't.
Listen closely and you can hear them try.
Austin ties them down to save them from tearing themselves apart again.
To him, they aren't tools any longer.
They've done their job.
"None of them go to the junk yard around here," he chuckles.
All they have to do now is look good, and complain a little when the winds of March try to turn them again.
This fixer of windmills is saving all he can claim now.