PILLING PONDERS PAST

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611 D Ave., National City, California 92050

I want to answer that fellow's letter of the good places he had to eat when threshing. We were threshing on the Mississippi River Bottom near New Canton, Illinois, and I was running a New Reeves 13 Hp. engine. She ran like a new watch and I kept her shining.

When we went into the dinner table which was set in the basement there were two big cook stoves going full blast. I sat sort of between them Hotoh by!! and the screen door opened in and took all the flies in and everything on the table was black with flies. There was penty on the table to eat, but you couldn't eat for flies. I looked over at my boss and he gave me a look we ate a few bites and got out.

I went over in Missouri where I worked for the John M. Brant Company out of Bushell, Illinois to reflue a boiler. I got to his place about midnight. He took me upstairs and said, 'Get in bed with that guy.' I did not know if he was white or black or who he was, until morning,

While we were eating breakfast a young hog came in one kitchen door and went out the other. He was very quiet, grunting along and that is the way it goes.

I'll tell you a couple of jokes on steam boilers. One time a river boat was going up river. A gambler on board kept wanting to bet with the Captain who would not bet with him. One morning he says, 'Captain, I'll bet you the old boiler blows up before night. 'sure enough it did and as he was going up he met the Captain coming down and he says, 'Captain, I'll bet you $5.00 I go higher than you' still wanting to bet.

And then there was the young engineer applying for a license on a steamboat. They asked what he would do if the boiler feed pump failed and he said, 'I would try injector.' They asked him what if it failed to work what would he do then 'I would look over the side of the boat and see if the river had gone dry.'

About two or three issues back there was a picture of a small Geiser steam engine which I thought was a fine piece of work. I will relate my experience with a 22 Hp. Geiser engine. This engine was in a shed beside a big haybarn full of dry hay. The barn caught fire and burned to the ground. The engine did not set it afire as it was cold for sometime. They wanted a man to come look at it to see if it could be rebuilt. He thought so and they shipped it in. The brass was all melted down, disc wheel cracked, all rebabbit meted out of bearings.

We put a x 2 band around disc wheel. After all machine work was done on it, it was my job to rebuild it. I had to wedge out the engine bed bracket and repour the spelter behind it, reline and rebabbit all bearings, new governor, throttle and all small brass goods. I had to straighten up the front wheels, also tighten up drive wheels. When I got it done, I steamed her up. It didn't hurt boiler and she ran like a new engine.

I ran her one whole day all around the yard. The foreman said we had better send for the owner as it was his pride and joy. He came the next morning and I had her steamed up. I said 'There she is,' and he started her up and ran her up and down the yard quite a while. I just rode along. He would stop her and look her over and finally he stopped her, got off and painted her up.

I was working for the John M. Brant Co. at the time. I guess this about takes care of my story.