SOOT IN THE FLUES

Soot in the flues

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Hi! May I chat a while with you . . How've you been since last magazine time? Are you busy getting ready for Christmas??? I realize this is the January-February issue, but you'll be getting it round that busy season when there are so many things to do, but aren't you glad we do have the customs we have and all the preparations for the wonderful Birthday of Jesus. I love it all except I do think it is too commercialized and too early. I asked to chat a while with you but I consider you all my friends and I'm going to be very frank I can't seem to get my thoughts connected and write an appropriate column matter of fact never did consider myself a writer. This is always a difficult job for me, for I'd like to make it interesting for all, and as you realize I don't know much about STEAM when it comes to making shop talk so I must write of the things of which I am most familiar my family and friends. All this brings me to why I can't seem to get this column together.

Just a few weeks ago I lost a close friend, one whom I loved very dearly. She was only 35 and a most wonderful person. We had gone through school together and after that we had many happinesses and adversities to share with each other you know the kind of friend I mean, or I hope you do, for I feel my life had been enriched to have had such a friend. But I'm still asking WHY and knowing I have no right to question these things. And I don't want to go morbid on you -- I realize we all have our own problems to face, but I'd like to print a prayer she wrote several years ago, which ironically is helping me at this time. Perhaps it will help you -- here it is:

Help us to remember our joys and not our sorrows,

Help us to think of our needs and not our wants,

Help us to be mindful of our blessings and not our prayers that seemingly go unanswered,

Help us to remember the sunshine and not the rain,

Help us to think of others rather than ourselves,

Help us to look up and not down.

Remind us of what we are, rather than what we might have been.

Arlene Hull

--I think it's beautiful!--and now onto business, for life must go on.

I've had quite a bit of correspondence on the ad sent in by a Beny Lingknoski of Gary, Minnesota. Many thought I had printed the address wrong, but upon checking, it is exactly as received in the mail so there is nothing we can do unless we hear from Beny himself. Sorry!

I want to send greetings to Paul Crossen who is now in the University Veterans Hospital at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Perhaps you folks would like to send him a card. He's been ill for quite a while, but loves the ALBUM and I'm sure he would be happy to hear from some steam fans. And you take it easy, Paul, and get better so you can get to the Steam Reunions next summer.

Another problem I've mentioned before is the pictures and stories you folks send along. We like them, we appreciate them and hope to use them but we just can't get them all in a few issues and consequently there are many hurt feelings and misunderstandings. We do not toss anything in the waste basket as many of you think we do unless it is a picture too blurred to print, and we have had very few of this type. We're doing our best to get a variety in each time and trying to please our IRON-MEN FAMILY -- so keep watching, your pictures and letters may make it one of these times, we hope so as much as you desire it.

I get many letters asking what back issues we have so if you will look under Classified Ads this time you will find the ones we have available. Hope they're the ones you're looking for to complete your files.

Well, that's about it for this time and in ending I'd like to leave a few thoughts with you. Peace is not made at the council tables, nor by treaties, but in the hearts of men ... It is better to be short of cash than short of character. . . What your conscience says about you is more important than what the neighbors say about you . . One's true religion is the life he lives, not the creed he professes . . . The surest way to have happiness and peace of mind is to give them to somebody else . . . success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.

Bye-bye God bless you in the New Year ahead.