Soot in the flues

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One thing I'll never get used to here it is time for the January-February issue to be put out and as I look around I can see the silly grin on the one pumpkin face we hollowed out and the scary look of the other and across the way I can smelf the leaves burning because some industrious neighbor is out putting their yard in order oh well, I always figure those leaves are good fertilizer if left on the lawn least that's one way of looking at it if you don't get them raked. Seems I get less done the older I get have been keeping the doctors in business though lately what with one thing and another spent a week again in the hospital in September and Earlene was in two weeks so you see the jinx hasn't left the Album staff as yet. Things are looking up though and we have many blessings to count, all of us here at the IMA staff as the Thanksgiving Season approaches and then goes gloriously into the Christmas Season and like I said this being the Jan-Feb. issue, I guess I better wish you all a Happy New Year and may you attend more Reunions than ever.

Charles R. Hope, Jr. of Arlington, Virginia has sent a few pictures in this time in the hopes we would put them in for the Eastern Shore Threshermen and Collectors Assn., Inc. Says Charles, 'We were down Oct. 1 to their picnic and had a wonderful time. They are a fine bunch of people down there and are working very hard developing a wonderful show.' Well, if it has been of any help to get them started publicity wise the pictures are in and we wish them a lot of luck.

Have a letter from last July 10 but still aim to print it from Nelson Howard, New Castle, Indiana who states: 'We attended Mr. W. A. Meister's threshing bee yesterday. He had a large crowd and a good time was enjoyed by all present. Dr. Holmes was there with his Case engine, which I formerly owned. It was dolled up very much and I think perhaps a woman's touch was revealed in the paint job. I am referring to his wife, Ruby. We had a wonderful time and I enjoyed the T. V. program that he had put on Harry Martin's.

The Pioneer Engineer's Club was formed Sept. 19, 1946, I think. I was elected the first president and my Case traction engine was there in 1947. So Mr. Meister had several firsts at his threshing bee yesterday. Even the children had a big romp in the new straw pile, but I pity them when the itching started. I think the Iron Men Album is a wonderful magazine and we wish them every success. I have every copy of it since it started, Volume 1, No. 1 Winter 1946 issue. It was then called the Farm Album.' Just a nice letter left over from the summer, but then it will bring you that much closer to the summer of 1968-right?

Another letter had come earlier from Miles Lusk, R.R. 2, Knox, Pennsylvania 16232 and he brought up this subject: 'Looking over the list of Meets, I see many of them are on the same dates. Why can't the officers get together and plan dates that no other club has and fix a date year after year that no other club has and always use the same weekend. The dates may be best for some member of the club, but so many of us travel up to 500 miles to Meets they are missing a lot of cash and displays by having dates when we are at other Meets. Some of my friends from here in Penna. go clear out to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa and just now a friend of mine from California is at a Meet in South Carolina. We travel!

A good way not to miss these Meets is to take a large bank calendar and mark the Meets on the calendar days as you find out the dates. Then a short reminder on the Meets help you plan in advance as Sasconburg Fire Dept.-Always the 3rd week in July Stoneboro Fair, always on Labor Day and etc. Now that many mill workers have to plan their pick of vacation weeks in January or February, a set time for all Meets would help.' Well, I suppose Miles has something there, but I guess it's like everything else, no matter when the date is set, it is not possible to please everyone and I guess they really do try to get it at a time convenient for the majority.

Miles also added in his letter 'Tips from an old Batch's Cook Book' Cook pork chops, veal chops or pork steak till half done, take a can of Spanish Rice and spread over it and finish cooking. Why not try it, might be a nice new taste for a change?

A friendly letter from Harold D. Blackwell, Box 250, R. 1, Lake Zurich, Illinois 60047 and he entitled his 'ALMOST GONE-BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN' - 'Who would ever think that after 65 years one would still long to smell of burning wood or coal and exhaust steam or wipe the chaff from a-round an old red bandana handkerchief tied around your neck? My folks never found me at home from the time the old threshing outfits came within ten miles of home and until they were ten miles beyond. Where was this in the Black Hills of S. Dakota, the land of Jack Rabbits, Tumble Weeds and Gumbo Soil that was so hard when dry you could not make a track in it and when it was wet you took your track with you that I think is a good description for Gumbo.

Now, in 1967, my Secretary, Gertrude Haase of Zion, Illinois and her husband, engine loving Will, made me a present of a subscription to the Iron Men Album. It's great! Every word and advertising item is read; they sound so natural. Every issue stirs up that old memory of the Dakota threshing times.

In the March-April issue, it is noted some pictures of old Avery engines, but I am wondering why so few articles or pictures are published on the Avery engines, especially the old 16-20 Hp. return flue and Yellow Fellow Separators to match. These were tops in Dakotas until the Hart-Parr 40-60 came along, powered with Gas Engines.

My wife and myself always try to attend at least one or two threshing shows a year. We like the one at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. I just could not resist writing you about the Iron Men Magazine, because it keeps alive these old memories of days of yore that are so much a part of us, but lost to today's generation forever.

You might be interested in me relating a story about myself when only ten years of age. I wrote to Avery Company in Peoria, Illinois to send a salesman to see me about buying an Avery outfit. The salesman arrived by stage coach to Snoma, S. Dakota, near Belle Fourche, S. Dak. and made inquiry of my father as to son, Harold. When informed I was only ten years of age the decision was for my Dad to pay half the salesmans expenses from and to Peoria, Ill. The final result was a letter from the President of Avery Company to the effect they appreciated my interest in Avery Products but were inclined to believe I would get a good many threshings before I was able to purchase one.' That surely was an amusing incident, but I doubt if Harold thought so at the time.

I know one couple that is extremely happy right now as my daughter and her husband had packed all their beautiful gifts from the wedding away until he would be finished with his hitch in the service and as of now he is stationed in Williamsburg, Virginia and is supposed to be stateside for two years, so she left her work and they found a furnished apartment and just this past Sunday they left to feather their first nest and begin their life together in their own little home. We are happy for them that they can be together and hope the plans for Bob aren't changed. He will be out on a two months cruise each year, but at least for the present they are making a new home together and making use of those lovely gifts. We look forward to visiting them - Williamsburg, Virginia is a very historical place and visited by many tourists yearly, so we should get to see all the sights while there.

And now to start your New Year. 1. Face the New Year with the Old Book. 2. Face the New Needs with the Old Promises. 3. Face the New Problems with the Old Gospel and 4. Face the New Life with the Old Remedies-Selected.