Keck-Gonnerman MEMORIES

22 HP Keck-Gonnerman

Dr. Robert T. Rhode, 735 Riddle Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 sent this photograph

Dr. Robert T. Rhode

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735 Riddle Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45220

Tom Hall firing his 22 HP Keck-Gonnerman, serial number 1765. On viewing the scene, Rhode was inspired to write ' 'Keck-Gonnerman Memories.' Look for his story inside this issue.

Born and raised a Hoosier, I may be a bit partial when I say that, for charming scenery, few places rival southern Indiana in the summertime.

That charm is evident in the picture on this month's cover. Here, under a spreading sycamore, Tom Hall fires his 22-horsepower Keck-Gonnerman (serial number 1765). The early-morning sunshine glistens from spokes in the flywheel and driver wheel. Parked nearby, Tom's water wagon with fuel box on top holds the engine's food and drink.

The occasion is the Keck-Gonnerman Reunion, held near Mt. Vernon, Indiana.

I suppose nearly everybody feels a certain admiration for his or her home state, but, at this show, my nostalgia was profound! My mother (Ida Marie Coan) grew up near the Keck-Gonnerman factory in Mt. Vernon. As a girl, she and her friends played among the engines at dusk after the whistle announced 'quittin' time.'' When I was born, she and Dad (Joseph C. Rhode) were farming in northwestern Indiana. We would attend the reunions at Pontiac, Illinois, where Mom enjoyed watching each and every Keck-Gonnerman steam engine.

Mom passed away a number of years ago. While Tom Hall carefully stoked the fire in his engine, I recalled her enthusiasm for Keck-Gonnerman machinery, and I realized that she indeed might have played hide-and-seek with the younger children beside this very engine. The soft sunlight, the drowsy sycamore leaves, and the peacefulness of this scene conspired to play a momentary trick on my imagination making me drift back to the 1920s. I hope my photograph may inspire a similarly satisfying feeling in readers of IMA.