AN OLD FASHIONED STEAM ENGINE

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Minneapolis, Kansas

Out here in the West, in our Jayhawk State,
Where wheat is King of the Soil,
We raise Oats and Milo and corn, if it rains,
And have wells of stuff they call Oil.

More beautiful places, you may find to live,
Than Kansas with heat, wind and cold;
But where you were born, you notice these less;
You endure it and just grow old.

I've been here some time now, as I count years,
And wonder at what I have seen:
The most thrilling thing of all I have known
Was the old steam threshing machine.

Yes, that was the thing at the turn of year,
When the harvest time rolled around.
We readied our rigs and collected crews,
Soon filling the air with our sound.

The binders were first as they clicked off sheaves,
The driver would yell at his team;
That old iron horse with its sweet 'chuck-too ',
Its whistle and popping off steam.
Then, rumbling of wheels as the wagons neared
As crews would converge in the field;
The looked-for 'Toot-Toot', the machine was set
The farmer would soon know his yield.

But now it is gone, so sad, I own
The music is gone from the air.
The only place we can hear it again
Is conventions, or at a fair.

Yet, God has been good and allowed a few
Old steamers to be with us yet.
I have one, too. You can wager your life
I'll keep it forever, you bet.

One thing important, I nearly left out,
Just rambling along with this deal:
The part the cooks played, at work with deft hands,
To prepare us a wonderful meal.
It's great to remember my mother there
Toiling for each one of us then.
She hummed as she worked, the tune of a hymn.
'Twould be Heaven to hear again.

How well I recall, the orders she gave
The first day of each week, at eight.
'Hitch Old Fly to the buggy now, my son,
Now hurry, we must not be late.'

Then off to Service in the old school house
That was set on yonder cleared space:
Where they played and sang and preached and they taught,
With joy ringing out of the place.

This, too, is near past, it is sad to say.
Such times as we used to have there!
Each town has its churchs, across our broad Land,
But few that to those could compare.

We who are older, sometimes stand in awe
At the progress science has made:
Can't understand or keep up with it all,
Or compute the price we have paid.

Some satellites have now circled the earth
And tell us so much about space
 They I'll shoot at the moon, and men may go there,
But me, I'll stay out of that race.

God gave us the moon to shine on us here,
To all He has great blessings given.
Let's let it alone and leave it to Him.
Hell explain it all up in Heaven.

Some say our big problem is youth, today-
Teenagers clear out of control,
With drinking and gambling and theft, they say.
They're 'sharp', but they have no goal.

For some this is true. We know it, of course.
We hear of things happening near:
But who is to blame for this state of things?
Not they, but their home life, I fear.

For 'Train a child in the way he should go'.
A wise man was once heard to say.
If our lives at home teach them faith in God
Our children will not go astray.

Our youth are no worse than we used to be,
Or even our parents have been.
They 'll make it if we will pray for then now,
And less will wind up in the 'Pen'.

I'll close with these lines, as I know you're tired
Of reading what I have said here.
It's only the thoughts from my heart today,

AN OLD-FASHIONED STEAM ENGINEER . . . . .