Soot in the flues

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Well, here I am trying to write the new 1964 Jan.-Feb. column and I'm in the throes of my very first cold for the fall of 1963 and so bleary-eyed and miserable I'll say 'Scuse be - if it don't soud right - it's de cod.'

And before I forget it, let me wish you and yours all a very wonderful Holiday season, -- we gripe and are mean all year about things (one of our human traits) but basically I think we all have love for our fellowman and want to wish every one well as the New Year appears.

We are here in the Branyan household busy as ever anticipating the coming season, having just gone through the Halloween time and making the costumes (its such an important time for the little ones) and then there was the PTA Play and mother had to really work fast and furious to get things done, for she couldn't and didn't want to say 'No' when asked to take a part in the western play. She portrayed, nonetheless a sort of dance-hall gal something like the gals on 'Gunsmoke' and having no appropriate costume I had to make the whole regalia, dress, hat, purse, and parasol. We had a lot of fun - bet a lot of you good steam friends didn't know I am a 'ham' at heart. You would have been proud of me (or ashamed) for the dress was bright red, trimmed in black and white polka dots and of course the make-up was heavy-I was supposed to be sexy and glamorous- don't know though - I'm a bit overweight and had the feeling maybe I looked more like a fire-engine. And to top it off, one of the nights I had a most embarrassing moment when my black lace stocking slipped the garter and slid down - it was quite an uncomfortable few minutes, but everything turned out all right and we had a great laugh about the whole thing-one of the cast, kiddingly asked, 'What do you do for an encore?' - I don't want you folks to think this was anything riske' or out of order, it was a very clean play and presented for PTA, and we weren't being off color, but the stocking incident really happened. Well enough for the home front, I have more important things for you to peruse.

First of all, many of you people have written about the White's Models and we're happy to tell you they are now available at this address: White's Model Shoppe, Martin Peterson, Successor, 2500 10th St., St. Cloud, Fla. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson stopped here recently and are enthused with their new work and I'm sure will be happy to fill your orders. They are lovely folks.

Had a letter from Glen J. Miller, 529 Main St., Ames, Iowa and he writes, 'Just read the November issue and on Page 37 the tractor is the Gas Traction Engine Co. of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have a 1910 sales book on them.'

And from Edwin Bredemeir of Bur chard, Nebraska we hear, 'The tractor pictured on bottom of page 38 in Nov.-Dec. issue is a 20-40 Case of 1915 vintage.'

And another from Clarence Morgan, Route 4 of Memphis. Missouri _ he tell us 'On page 38, Nov.-Dec. Album is a picture of a tractor you want to know the make, and year it was manufactured. I would have to call it a Case 40 horse gas or kerosene. They were first built in 1912 or 13. It is a double cylinder opposed engine 8x9. They were real good tractors. I saw a few in the late teens. I have a 1914 Case catalogue showing this tractor. (I think you people like to read these excerpts we get on the pictures, so if you disagree or would care to write to the men, I'm sure they would be glad to hear from you.) THEN - there is a letter from Harmon Liechty,Sr., 2400 Morton Ave. Elkhart, Indiana and you read it and maybe some of you steam folks could make him a bit happier. It reads, 'I, in the last 2 years have gotten interested in steam and oil tractors. I am in the hospital in Elkhart. I would like to have pictures and information on as many engines for an Album of my own as I am poor and can't afford one of these beauties. Can anyone help me? This is the first I've been able to write in 2 months. If you have any pictures I'd appreciate them. I love to go to the steam shows.' Mr. Liechty is 27 years old and has three children. So perhaps you can help cheer him up. I know there are many of you folks who enjoy taking the pictures and giving some to interested people. We here at the Album wish Harmon a speedy recovery, and many pictures for his album.

AND a Card of Thanks from Ray M. Ernst of Wayland, Iowa who says, 'I wish to express my sincere thanks to all my fine good friends, who sent me flowers, cards and letters and all who visited me while I was in the hospital.' We're glad Ray is getting along just fine and can get outside and look at the engines.

And here is a request -- see if you can help E. B. Crowell, 243 Lupton, Waterloo, Iowa. He writes, 'I have an Illinois Steam Engine and don't know anything about their history. About how many years and how many engines were built? Mine is supposed to be a 1923, but a man that worked there at one time told me that company was shut down before then. I can not find anything on it that looks like a serial number, -- Can you tell me where to look for it?' So if you can help Mr. Crowell, drop him a line.

And I think I've rambled on enough for this time and of course, I couldn't end my column without a few quotes- A river is powerful because many drops of water have learned the secret of cooperation.---He who gives when he is asked had waited too long- If you pray for rain, be sure to carry an umbrella---A mountain shames a molehill until both are humbled by the stars.

That's it for now, and God bless you and do have a Merry Christmas! We still really do have many reasons to have joy in our hearts.