By the time you receive this, Christmas trimming and holiday excitement will have subsided. Thank you for your Xmas messages and remembrances.
We had a wonderful holiday. Hope the same for you all. It wasn't as much fun taking down and storing decorations as the preparation of them. I guess I'm just lazy, but I hated to remove them. Such a serene feeling and delight came over me when I would sit in my living room alone at night with just the tree lighted. It seems a special spirit surrounds one in such quiet moments. Have you ever felt this? I hope so; it's wonderful.
By the number of letters we get talking about steam engine reunion activities and dates for this year, summer can't be too far away. Mrs. Francis Koehler from Winterset, Iowa, wrote the following note upon which I'm sure we'll all agree: 'We have the 121st Wood Bros. Steam Engine built and the project for this summer was to paint and put new flues in it, finished in time to have it fired up for Covered Bridge Festival Days, October 14 and 15. Many told us it was the best thing in the parade. We also have a Nichols Shepard 25-90 H. P. that makes the Wood look like a toy its so huge. Next summer's project is to repaint and restore it. I understand there are only four left, as there were few of these built. Gears are perfect in it. There's certainly something about these steam engines that get under the 'skin', as all the family down to the little one who will be three in March likes the 'teem engine' and wants Grandpa to 'blow' when we are fired up.'
Mr. Ernest Pawson, Maniton Beach, Minnesota, wrote saying he has Vol. 1, No. 3-4 and from then on all of IMA. They are in excellent condition.
'I followed steam traction engines all of my life,' wrote Mr. W. Currie, of Collingwood, Ontario. He had the unique manner of starting on the prairies where few of us have trod. He graduated to steam shovels and dredges and winter stationary. He's retired now after 55 years as a steam engineer. May he have many years of happiness.
Donald Kelley writes telling us he is another lucky one to have every copy of IMA. He knew Elmer and appreciates our efforts. Thanks!
Webster Mooney from Nortonville, Kansas, gave me a thrill by writing to bring back wonderful memories. He has all the issues. We had the privilege of staying in his home years ago. The hospitality given by him and his lovely wife portrays the fine recommendation for graciousness of the West. It was so nice to hear from him. Thanks!
Harold Klamfoth, 5291 Babbitt Road, New Albany, Ohio 43054, sent this letter: 'I bought a Baker Thresher, 28 x 54 size, that I want to restore. It is in fairly good shape now. It is the all roller-bearing model built in about 1934. The previous owner has painted it to keep down the rust, but he didn't keep the original colors. Would anyone care to send me directions on colors and striping, or if they had a color photo or a catalog with a color picture, I would like to borrow it for a guide to paint it. Any help will be very much appreciated.' Perhaps someone can help him. Please do so, if possible. Both of us would appreciate it.
Robert Meek, Lampeter, Pennsylvania, and Forrest Cunningham, Harrodsburg, Kentucky, were among the first subscribers to the IMA. They've kept each issue and consider them priceless.
Carl Neitzel would like to know if any of you readers have information as to which engine parts are interchangeable between English, Irish-American Fordsons. I am referring to valves, guides, camshafts, crank shafts, timing gears, connecting rods. I know that the cylinder bore size is different.
Leon Mead of Dewey, Rt. 1, Box 30, Oklahoma, expressed his appreciation of both magazines. 'They bring back memories of by-gone days.' He says he has one of the largest private collections of early models in the state. Any and all visitors are most welcome to stop and see free of charge. He'd like literature showing the Bluegrey Twin City Tractor in original colors. They wish to restore several. Can any of you fellows help him?
We received the following letter from the Park Interpreter, Mr. Wendell L. Hoover, Department of Natural Resources in Michigan. 'We are in the process of setting up an exhibit here at the Hartwick Pines State Park to show what a typical small sawmill of the 1880's would have looked like. We have the mill equipment, but not the boiler. We do have the part of the power unit that bolts onto the boiler. Does one of your readers, preferably in Michigan, have a boiler (doesn't have to be operable) for such an engine that they would be willing to donate for exhibit purposes? Our only qualification is that the entire engine look complete and ready to go. Perhaps you can advise whether a steam tractor would be appropriate or if a stationary engine would be better. We intend to house the entire mill within a suitable sized building, and visitors to the park will view the mill through windows which will help to prevent vandalism. We can furnish some additional data regarding the part of the engine we have if any of your readers are interested.' The above paragraph speaks for itself and hopefully one of you will be helpful as in the past.
Most of you have been fortunate not to lose the cash you sent us by mail. This is risky please try to send CHECK or MONEY ORDER-so we're sure that both of us do not lose the cost of a subscription. May we ask that you do not send Canadian currency. It just delays your receiving the magazine.
We'd appreciate your making a notation, as some have, when a change of address is written on your slip; also kindly send us as soon as possible this change when you know, so you won't miss an issue. If you know Key Numbers (they are ones which usually contain a letter among the numerals), place those on renewals. This saves our girls time in the office. Thanks!
Sorry, we cannot always accommodate some when you ask us to print some desired information especially concerning companies. We try to avoid 'stepping on anyone's toes' in any way. I know you'll understand. So often I too am guilty of not seeing all sides to a problem until someone mentions it.
Another youth has produced pride in us oldsters. Thought you'd enjoy this piece of literature, written by a 12-year old Tommy Olson, 410 Anderson Street, Coon Valley, Wisconsin. His mother wrote saying he composed it for a class in school. Tommy, she informs us, is an avid steam and gas engine lover, belongs to an antique engine club, and is a faithful reader of our magazine. Here is a copy of his composition:
MY LIFE AS A STEAM ENGINE
'My life started on the assembly line in 1922. I was shipped to a farmer a month later. He fired me up for the first time. I was very shiny and bright. I had so much fun at first, but soon I found out what hard work really was. I stood in the rain, rusted, and was badly abused. I thought I was coming to the end of my life. My owner fired me up for the last time and parked me behind the shed.
A few years later, an antique collector bought me. Inside I had a good feeling. This was the feeling of new hope! This kind man gave me a full restoration. He cleaned me, painted me, and made me finer than new. Now he runs me at steam meets and takes very good care of me. I will always be a good engine for him, and try to make him proud to own me.' (To all engineers: Teach the younger people to run us so that we may have a future, too!)
We are happy for the interest and this composition, Tommy. Thanks to you and your Mother for sharing it with us.
May you all continue to build up steam! See you soon somewhere this season.