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Hi There to each one of you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! And I really mean it, but you know right now it's only the beginning of November and its even hot outside and it just doesn't seem the Christmas Season yet -and I do have some of the Christmas shopping done and plans for the upcoming weeks - I guess what I'm trying to say is in working with publications as these magazines, we must project our thoughts a few months ahead when writing - but by now you know me pretty well and I have to come out and tell you what I think - like it isn't Jan-Feb. now and I have to sit here and pretend it is - as far as wishing you to be happy and have a good future I feel that every issue. But I can't even smudge this column with cookie crumbs, or tinsel from the tree - cause I just haven't gotten that far yet, let alone think of the New Year thoughts and inspirations with which I should be encouraging you.

One thing, we won't be using the mass lights this year as we have at all other times - it will seem strange, but I think when we are faced with problems such as we are now encountering with fuel, power and etc. we should as individuals do our bit. I think when these shortages arise, some folks think, 'Oh Well, I'm just one person, it won't matter if I use this' - or go zooming along as usual, in their car with nary a thought of the gasoline we're consuming and are supposed to be conserving by just cutting back on our speed. But that's wrong-for its a project we should all work at individually and then it ends up as a team effort of all pulling together to fight our plights - are you going to help? You've heard the saying 'He's only a drop in a bucket' - well if drop after drop fills the bucket - if we could all be considered as 'just a drop in the bucket' - and all worked together after while the bucket would be full of success in solving a problem. And at this point I 'd rather be a 'drop' than a 'drip' and don't even comment on that one!

And now, onto much more interesting reading from our wonderful members of the Iron-Men Album family!

BOB EHRET, 311 S. Main Street, Goshen, Indiana 46526 is restoring an Aultman Taylor, sun-flower clutch gear that has a steam gauge of 1878. Does anyone know the true colors of this engine. Bob is interested in hearing from you.

JERRY KEHR, R. R. 3, Box 169-B, Goshen, Indiana 46526 is restoring a Bevel gear drive steam tractor. He would like to know how it was painted when new. Also, where can he find the serial number? On the front smoke box there is a number 984 - would that be it? (He would very much appreciate hearing from you partners out there in Steam Land).

NEIL BRADY BROWNE, 3940 Discovery Drive, Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada regretfully sends this news: 'The 45 ton Lima 'Shay' locomotive at the Elk Falls Co. mill of CZ Canada is being replaced by a diesel engine this fall. The fate of the steam engine is unknown at present, but I earnestly hope someone will build a tight shed for it and properly preserve it.'

On the right, Jack Buchanan and Roy Cox of the Yard Crew are shown wiping her down.

This information all from Neil - do hope some will find a way to preserve the 45 on Shay - we hate to see any 'tired iron' ending up on the junk pile.

That reminds me I just read in the Boiler Bulletin, put out by the Ontario Steam and Antique Preservers Association, a little article called 'Have You Ever Seen A Grownup Man Cry?' 'I talked to a man this morning (June 7) who had red eyes. He had taken a load of scrap iron to Hamilton, and when he drove in, to unload, here was a workman cutting up a traction engine. From the description, it sounded like it had been a Waterloo. He was able to salvage some parts but I do not know exactly what. To make matters worse, over on the cast pile was a large gasoline engine, smashed to bits. Where were all the iron hounds?' (I think Ross Calder, R .R. 1, Cambridge, Preston, Ontario wrote this as he is the editor of the paper mentioned. I'm sure he won't mind me using this story as he sends me the bulletins every issue - I appreciate it Ross).

DAVE CHAMBERS, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906 sends me this enlightening bit: 'Referring back to the Iron-Men issue for March-April 1973, page 21, lower picture, the girl standing on the steps of Leonard Mann's 1917 Case 40 HP engine, No. 34091, is lovely Corinne Sue 'Corki' Koehler.

In the June 1973 class of 501 graduates from Lafayette, Indiana - Jefferson High School, Miss Koehler was valedictorian and was the commencement speaker. On Feb. 3, 1973 she represented Tippecanoe County in the Indiana 'Junior Miss Beauty Pageant', state finals held at Frankfort, Indiana.

Miss Koehler is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Koehler of Lafayette and is now enrolled as a Freshman at Purdue University where she plays a flute in the Concert Band.

Incidentally, this past September, 1973, saw no full scale steam traction engines at the Lafayette Indiana Home Hospital Fair, although some miniature engines were on display. The picture in question, was taken at the September 1972 Fair.

Some of you may want to send cards to GUY SAMS, Highland District Hospital, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. He is not well at all and has been hospitalized since last February. He was a very avid mechanic for many years and was interested in the engines. His son, Russell, still operates the half size model Geiser and has been to many shows this past season. I don't know if perhaps he is too ill to appreciate cards, but one never knows - when you are very sick -sometimes you have moments of complete comprehension and then its very good to know you're getting cards and that your friends are interested in you.

I'm going to print another paragraph from the Boiler Bulletin from Ross Calder as mentioned in a previous paragraph. Ross called this 'Just a Few Funnies From The Show - 'Does anyone know how to cross an eagle with a homing pigeon? It seems that Bill Earl's Eagle tractor landed in Shelburne instead of New market. Just one of those things! Then there was the steam engine that got steam up on the way home, on the float. All by itself too. I guess it was just acting smart, only one thing wrong though, it wasn't smart enough to open the injector and the water was out of sight. How about the fellow who serenaded everyone one morning with a newly purchased roll organ. He sure was surprised when he was presented with a nice monkey, and a bunch of bananas, to go with the organ. All he needs now is a tin cup. What's it all worth if we can't have some fun?' (I thought these little incidents were interesting and humorous. I'm wondering if a lot of you folks couldn't tell us some little happenings such as these that have occurred. I'm sure every Reunion has a lot of 'tales' that would be welcomed by the readers.;

We received a nice letter from LEONARD E. NEWTON, Route 3, Box 58, Grinnell, Iowa 50112 -Congratulations on the fine job you are doing with Iron-Men. I have been taking it now since 1949. It means much to me in my eighty-four years young life. I was. born with steam in my blood. My blessed grandfather, Harrison Newton, bought the first steam traction to come to Newbury, Iowa in 1880. It was a Watertown traction, but guided by a tongue and team of horses. The thought at that time was that meeting a team and wagon on the road, the wagon team wouldn't be so scared if there was another team of horses in front of the engine.

My grandfather raised his seven sons on this engine. Everyone was a steam engineer, two went to the railroad. In 1890 he traded this engine and I think a Nichols and Shepard thresher for an Advance outfit, 12 HP engine and 32 inch separator hand feed with wind stacker.

When I was about five years of age, one evening Grandfather and two Uncles drove in our farmyard to thresh the next day. One of my Uncles picked me up, held me on his left arm, stepped up on the engine platform and pulled the whistle cord that did it for the rest of my life! My Uncles were always nice to me around the threshing rig. All the other threshermen were too.

One evening, another threshing rig was coming up the road to thresh for a neighbor the next day. I had the hay down for the horses and was running toward the road to meet it and Father yelled, 'Come back- put the hay down,' and I yelled, 'The hay is down,' (for the horses) and went on running down the road. I got in just behind the engine platform by the separator tongue and the engineer reached down, picked me up and set me on the tool box. I had a wonderful ride, past our home to our neighbors gate, about two city blocks farther and when the engine slowed down to turn into the gate of our neighbors, I got off and went back home. I expected to get a good spanking, but it never arrived.

Early in the year 1900, I saw an ad in our farm paper by the Port Huron Engine & Thresher Co. to send a penny postcard for a big new 1900 catalog of engine threshers, etc. I asked my father if I could sent for it and he said, 'Yes.' I got that nice big catalog and in about six weeks had a threshing machine agent. That wasn't so funny then to think that I had caused a man to come all the way from Des Moines, Iowa to see me - just a boy - but before two more years were up, he sold my Grandfather a beautiful new 18 HP Port Huron compound engine and a new 33 x 54 Port Huron Rusher separator. I learned to run this engine and loved it.

Well, it seems that this letter is getting kind of long, so I had better ring off. Please keep up the good work, Girls, you are doing fine and we men are loving it.

And now, I'm going to sign off and leave you with a beautiful thought from Helen Steiner Rice -It doesn't take a New Year-To begin our lives anew, - God grants us new beginnings-Each day the whole year through-So never be discouraged-For there comes daily to all men-The chance to make Begin All Over Again!

AVAILABLE AT LAST! Highly detailed, high quality gray iron castings for a 4' scale model of a 1915 Case 65 horsepower traction engine. 140 castings and a complete set of blueprints can be purchased at a modest cost. The riveted boiler has been designed to be operated at up to 500 PSI. This engine is a real work horse with all the beauty of detail built-in. Catalog $.50 a copy, stamps or cash. R. Wm. Andres 4384 LaVaque Road, Duluth, Minnesota. 55811.TFN