Here it is May-June issue and I know what that means already many of the engines have been fired up and also the enthusiasm of the fireman. Preliminary meetings before the big shows keep those Iron-Men interested and busy as spring will fuse into summer and the steam enthusiasts will be in their glory as they eke out show after show and old friends and new.
Have some letters of interest so will get into them right away - one from H. E. Clark, 2317 Upland Drive, Concord, California 94520 writes:
I get a lot of pleasure out of going over the past issues and I have just about memorized them.
In answer to Anna Mae in Soot in the Flues in the July-August 1967 issue about railfence posts being burned, there was a lot of rail fence being replaced with woven wire fence at that time. As I remember the Page Woven Wire Fence was supposed to be Horse high, Bull strong and Pig tight, so the old rail fence was cut up for fire wood in the kitchen range except some was left full length for the threshers and we had to cut it up ourselves. One spring I ran a 16 H.P. Port Huron Engine with a buzz saw attached to the front end of the boiler and we cut rails as well as other wood. In the March-April issue of this year Mrs. Baber told how to make Corn Cob Jelly, when I was a boy my cousin took a course in cooking at Michigan State College and she came home and made syrup out of Corn Cobs it had a Maple flavor and was good on hot cakes. She is 92 years old now and lives in Lansing, Michigan and I have written and asked her if she remembers how to make it and if she will send me the recipe. Best wishes for I.M.A. for 1968.'
That's a new one to me, for I've never heard of Corn Cob Jelly, just like I didn't think they burned the rail fence posts, course then I didn't hear of steam traction engines until I knew Elmer and became an Iron-Men Album family member. (Shows how young I am - ha ha).
An inspiring letter from Gregory Hoesli, 752 McCollum, 1800 Ergel Road, Lawrence, Kansas goes like this: 'In an age when a premium is placed on progress which doesn't seem to be in itself good, it is a relief to read your magazine which looks backward to see where our heritage is. I am twenty years old and am studying to be a traction engine engineer, probably one of the youngest.
I am a protege of Ralph Fuller of Minneapolis, Kansas and have been the separator man for him on occasion. I am attending the U. of Kansas and saving to buy an engine soon (having already a 28' separator). I thought your readers might like to hear that some young people do take an interest. I would welcome letters from any experienced engineers.'
I know a letter like this is an inspiration to you old timers and not so old-timers for I'm sure you all wish to stir interest in the younger folks coming behind so they will carry on in the future. So drop Greg a line Fellow she'll appreciate it.
And from Catlin Creek Machine Shop, Florence, Kansas, Mr. Catlin writes us: 'In the Jan-Feb. Iron-Men Album on page 36, a certain party says it is a waste of time and money to build steam engine models of ' and 1/3 scale size and they are toys. I say they are intended to be playthings. A small engine can be fired up with an armload of wood, where a large engine needs coal and lots of it.
He says to build an engine with a boiler 30' in diameter, an engine of that size could not be built with the tools available in an ordinary shop as the 65 Case has a boiler 32' in diameter.
It is easy to criticize models that the other guy builds, but to build one yourself is quite another matter. I have built five model steam engines in my time from 1/6' size to size and I know what it takes to build an engine.'
Personally, here again, I am no authority on the subject, but I think whatever pleases the builder and is within his means and gives him enjoyment in this hobby is fine after all we can't all like the same things wouldn't it be a dull world?
Kirby Warner of Liberty Center, Ohio 43532 writes us that he enjoys reading about old times in the ALBUM brings back many memories to him and Kirby is 88 years young. We're happy we can add to his enjoyment in his retiring years. As he stated: I started threshing in 1896 with portable engine, hand feed and straw carrier and indept. stacker. The farmer hauled the tanks.
Then, my last steamer was a 65 Hp. Case and 36-54 Separator, Birdsell Huller, 19 in. paper ens. cutter Port Huron saw mill. I used steam till 1925 then used tractor and 20-40 Oil Pull then the combines took over so I bought a combine 1948. I have a miniature rig as I bought the engine built the separator and tank.' Nice to hear from you Kirby! Hope you enjoy our ALBUM and family for many seasons.
Mr. Lyman Matthews, C/O Dustan Matthews, 1302-6th Ave., N. E., R.R. 2, Aberdeen, South Dakota 57401 is interested in information on the Bryant engine. He states: 'I am sure about 10 or 15 years ago the ALBUM had a good picture of a Bryant steam engine that could be easily taken for an ordinary gas tractor as it was built a lot like the Stanley and other steam autos were built, and sounds like a good steamer. I am sure the picture was near the front of the magazine. I think there is supposed to be one of those engines in southern part of S. Dakota and I am sure it is kept for exhibit, but I don't know how to locate it. I cannot find my Iron-Men Album with the picture and suppose it was one of several borrowed and I did not get it back. Believe me I would be happy to learn more of this Bryant Steamer.'
Could any of you fellows help Lyman Matthew with this information. I'm printing this, because I know many of you fellows know about where these articles are or have memorized the information wanted as for me it takes hours to hunt for these articles past printed and then sometimes it seems they just can't be found so perhaps some of you ol-timers could help him with the information he is seeking.
That's about it for this time Friends and as we look forward to Easter let's all keep faith in the future for there are many dark clouds hanging over us at this time, but then I think as we look back through history it has always been this way. But we must never forget that we as Christians are to live our lives so as to influence others - we cannot only hope and pray for peace and a better world -we must do something about it actively-set an example for we never know when or whom we are influencing and right now we are in the Lenten Season and should be more enthusiastic about renewing our way of Life and try endlessly to make ourselves better individuals. Enough rambling on and may you all experience a Blessed Easter Season and may the joy of Easter continue throughout the year for you and in closing, I'm going to use a poem entitled 'The Joy Of Easter' written by our good friend and inspirational poet, Lloyd Carleton Shank. It goes'. 'Because Hive ye, too, shall live! 'Is the Saviour's promise true, And this Easter day God's children say, 'We pledge our lives a-new To Him Whose resurrection brings A hungering for eternal things.'