Mr. Bob Ehret of Stop 30, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico Rico, attended the National Threshers Reunion at Alvord ton, Ohio, in 1952. We were all pleased to have him but not nearly all who would have liked to get acquainted with him. There just did not seem to be enough time. Here is an interesting letter from him to the editor which we thought you all would enjoy.
Dear Rev. Ritzman,
Let me start out by saying that I'm very sorry that I didn't meet you personally at the Alvord ton Reunion this year. You, through your magazine, must be bringing untold happiness to many persons and I am one.
After leaving the Alvord ton Reunion my wife and I went out home near Goshen, Ind., and quite a number of persons saw the magazine and were surprised that such a magazine was being published.
(Mr. Ehret then states he is sending check for the men here listed as he is sending them the ALBUM for one year. Ed.)
This might get tiresome to you, however, I'll give you a little history on why these are going out. The first Rev. on the list would hold revival meetings around our place in Indiana and he told me he always wanted a steam engine and finally at the age of about 30 or more someone got him one. I was only about 10 years old when this was told in our house and at that time I wanted a steam engine (a little weeden) very badly. He advised against it right then because he thought I was a little too small. I still thought I was getting a steam engine for Christmas, and you can appreciate my disappointment when my mother gave me a nice automatic pencil instead. I still have the pencil however, I still remember my disappointment each time I see it.
My father-in-law is Mr. Yoder who used to run a steamer in Illinois. I was much surprised when 1 was home to learn that he stall is interested.
Nelson Kauffman is one of our ministers in a Mission Church in Missouri, and I showed him one of the magazines when I met him in Goshen and he told me that he too used to run a steamer on a threshing rig.
Schwarms threshed for my grandfather for 30 or 35 years and it is through him and his rig that I got my first love for steam. Incidentally I met him at the Alvord ton Reunion and we were both so surprised we didn't recognize each other at first.
The rest of the list are boys that were my age in school and in those days
in the one room schools if a threshing, corn shredding rig or if just a plain Rumley Oil Full went by it meant no thinking or lessons and usually there was some way of sharpening a pencil or going to the book shelf to get a better look. A lot of time was spent drawing different kinds of tractors and threshers. This was in the early to middle thirties.
I always wanted to be an Undertaker and I graduated from the Indiana School of Mortuary Science in 1942. Then of course, the war was on and being of Mennonite background I felt the right thing was to go non-resistant. I was in several camps in the U. S. between Va., and Cal., and finally the opportunity opened to come to Peurto Rico to work in a relief hospital operated for the poor people of the Island. I was discharged in 1946 and had a very good friend of mine in the Army who wanted me to go into the funeral business here as at that time there was very little embalming being done here and the Army was having trouble with bodies getting to the states in good condition. We started to business then and have a nice business now. We are not making a lot of money because people don't spend as much for funerals here as they do in the states. However, we do make a nice living and the people seem very grateful when one renders a nice dignified service.
My parents still have a farm in Northern Indiana and I'm looking forward to buying an 8 to 12 hp. steam engine to put on the farm. We want to spend more time back there as is possible and I would really enjoy this. We found a boy from Elkhart, Ind., who was in the Air Force here and was discharged and is helping us. With one more responsible person I think that my wife and I won't have to work quite so hard.
I might say here that I'm kind a torn between two fires on where to keep such an engine if I find one. The Mr. Stanley Miller who gave me the Ohio Farmer and who at that time was principal of the Baptist Academy at Batas, P. R., is now running a farm for the Ulrich Foundation at A bonito. Mr. Ulrich is a wealthy Mennonite manufacturer of farm and road building equipment at Roanoke, III., who set up this farm to try and teach the Peurto Ricans.
A better way of doing farming. It is a non-profit organization. It so happens that there is no saw 'mill between Ponce and San Juan and Miller said if I would get a steam engine here he would buy the saw mill. I remember that you wrote about Mr. R. D. Yoder an page 17 of the Sept.-Oct. issue about a hobby. Of course we don't drink and I think I'm entitled to spend some money on a hobby. I would appreciate if you know of about an 8 to 12 hp engine in the area near to New York or Philadelphia, in good condition, and at reasonable price, to let me know about it.