New Year Thoughts

Tandem compound engine

Content Tools

Rocky Comfort, MO 64861

Russell outfit about 1917. Tandem compound engine, in Anderson County, Kansas. My brother George on engine, and Orville Seeber on separator.

20 HP Advance engine, Illinois separator at Kingfisher, Oklahoma in 1919. The outfit belonged to Legrand Still. I helped move this rig overland from Boise City, Oklahoma to Perryton, Texas in 1920.

I wanted to start the New Year right by turning my thoughts to the past.

While I am not able to own any of the old engines and threshers, you cannot take the memories from me.

I often wonder why this old thresher mania has such a grip on those of us who lived through it.

I was on an engine almost all of my younger years, from 1908 to 1926.

When I consider all of those long hours, the sweat, digging an engine out of the mud at midnight, trying to keep up steam with wet straw, rolling tubes at night so as to be ready for another day, washing a boiler late Saturday night, going to the cook shack only to find that the cook had burned the biscuits, then looking for a favorable spot on the prairie soil to throw down a blanket, hoping to get a few hours rest, having to arise early to walk maybe a mile (if lucky) to clean the flues, and start a fire, and be ready for the crew when they arrived, then eat a fast breakfast that the cook had sent with the crew, and thus begins a new and another day.

Again I ask why we are not willing to forget this past of our life. I know why, when I view the world as it is today, with all it's grief, hustle and bustle. I am convinced that life was much better, and if I were not almost 88 years old, I would like to live it all over again.

I am sending along some pictures if you care to use them they just might put a little spark in some old timer's eye when he remembers a similar machine in his younger life.

May the New Year be good to all of you at the magazine, as well as all of those that work so hard to make life more pleasant for all old codgers like me.