Soot in the flues

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Hi! to all my good friends out in Steam Engine Land I guess you are all geared up for the big season ahead... I'll bet the autos have been checked, as well as the show engines, the trailers, campers and any other mode of transportation to each of you. And remember, as you pick up your Album, think of me I've been your friend for 28 years come this September and have enjoyed every minute of it.

And now, I've just got to share a joy with you. My birthday was April 5 (the big 60) and on that day my daughter Keli and granddaughters came with a cake and present in the afternoon. That evening the other three children came by and we all made homemade ice cream, my favorite dish. I thought that in itself was great. The next day I went down to Keli's to baby sit the two granddaughters and as I opened the door there four of the five children and families were snapping my picture as I came in.. .Surprise!! It certainly was I still can't get over it. They had prepared a beautiful table of food to last all day as they had open house from 2 to 6 and invited many of my friends who just dropped in all day long. I surely don't know how I'm so lucky, but I praise the Lord for unexpected love gifts such as this. Just thought you would like to share with me.

Another tale from Wellsprings of Wisdom entitled 'The Cheater'. A baker in a small town regularly bought a fairly large amount of butter from a neighboring farmer. One day the baker suspected the butter was not the weight he ordered and paid for. His scales confirmed his suspicion. Thereafter the baker weighed all the butter from the farmer and found he was getting less and less than he paid for. Finally he had the farmer arrested on a charge of fraud.

At the trial it was revealed that the farmer had no scales. The astonished judge asked the farmer how he could weigh the butter without scales.

'It's this way, Judge,' said the farmer. 'When the baker began to buy butter from me I began to buy bread from him. I buy this one pound loaf and I always use that as the weight from my butter. So, if the weight of my butter is wrong it is only because the weight of his bread is wrong. If I have been cheating him it is only because he has been cheating me.'

'Case dismissed!' said the judge. (Don't you just love that?)

And now on to better and wonderful reading which comes from our contributors.

FRANK WM. DEDEH, JR., P.O. Drawer 512, Rosenberg, Texas 77471 writes: 'On a recent trip through Pensacola, Florida, I was privileged to visit the city's Transportation Museum accompanied by Pete Olcott, 904-478-2289, 10100 Hill view Road, Pensacola, Florida 32512. They are restoring a Berney Electric single truck street car, but do not have the wheelsthis is all that it is lacking. Can you be of any help? (How about it Fellas?)
'Thank you for a great magazine.'

This letter comes from new subscribers WALTER & TONI THOMAS, Route 1, Box 225, Lyons, Oregon 97358: 'We received our magazine February 16th and it was all I'd hoped for it thank you very much! I ordered the magazine for my husband for a birthday gift in July. He and I are both steam and antique equipment buffs. We grew up using many of these early treasures.

'This issue answered a question for us we'd been asking for many years. Our local Antique Powerland at Brooks, Oregon holds an Annual Steam-Up two weekends each summer (usually the last one in July and the first in August). In one of the buildings with equipment to be restored is a machine we couldn't name or figure its function and no one else we asked could either. Now we know, for on Page 17, upper right hand corner is almost a duplicate of what we see there (ours has lots of dust), the Groundhog Thresher. We're looking forward to many more mysteries solved in the future. Thankfully, the magazine is the right size and only comes bi-monthly, so I think we can get some work done between issues.'

We hear from ORVILLE ANDERSON, Route 2A, Madelia, Minnesota 56062, phone 507-642-8268: 'I have read your magazine for a few years now and look forward for each issue.

'I got in on the last years of threshing, mostly hauling grain and helping with the separator.

'My dad told many tales of the days he spent following the separator all fall pitching bundles from the stacks and hauling water for the steam engine. One farmer came to the crew in the evening and said he would give each man two dollars extra if they would finish up that night. They agreed and threshed till midnight, with lantern light.

'My grandfather started farming in 1875 and used a Marsh reaper. I would like to know if there are any in existence today. I would like to see one or to see a picture of one. Would also like to hear from someone who has a 20 HP International gas engine mounted on a horse drawn truck. We had one standing in our grove when I was a young boy and my dad sold it to a scrap dealer for eight dollars. How I wish I had that engine today!'

Here is an interesting letter for many of you folks. It comes from REV. NORBERT J. LUCHT, RR 1, Box 161, Athens, Illinois 62613: 'Let me introduce myself. I am Paster Norbert J. Lucht and I was born near LaValle, Sauk County, Wisconsin on July 12, 1920. After graduation from high school in 1939, I worked on my father's farm untill 1949 when I entered Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Illinois (a Seminary of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, now located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.) I was married on August 15, 1953 and we moved to Maiden, Missouri, in the boot heel, where I spent my year of vicarage (practice preaching).

After Seminary graduation we moved to McClusky, North Dakota. I also served Arena, 42 miles away on a gravel road. This parish was in the center of the state. Because of the extreme dry and dusty conditions, I developed throat trouble and was advised by my doctor to move to a different climate. So in September 1957, we moved to a small rural parish near Iuka, near Salem, Illinois. I then served parishes in Altamont and then Athens, Illinois. It was there that I developed Viral Encephalitis and was in the hospital until March 6, 1971. I took a leave of absence until July 1. I preached my last sermon on December 19, 1971. We moved out of the parsonage on April 12, 1972 and moved to a farm home near Fancy Prairie, Illinois and have lived here since.

'In October of 1973, The Illinois State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation sent me to Brown's Career College in Springfield, where I took accounting and typing. Since I couldn't grasp accounting, I quit and from 1973-1976 I sold Rawleigh products. Since I had so few customers, it was not a paying proposition.

'Back in 1970, I wrote up six note books full of historical materials and I am now typing them up for publication.

'I was one of the original subscribers to the Farm Album, now the Iron-Men Album and The Gas Engine Magazine, but I had to give them up due to my financial condition.

'I started to collect steam engine catalogs and photographs, also Thresherman's Magazines in 1946 and I have been collecting tractor catalogs since 1939. I have a nearly complete set of Red tractor books going back to 1926, and Tractor Field books going back to 1935. I would like to correspond with owners of McCormick-Deering W40 and WD40, Rumely 6, Eagle 6A, Lauson 25-45, Huber HK 33-45, Baker 25-50 and Keck Gonnerman 25-50 tractors.

'And Steam Engine Owners, please send snapshots of your engines. I would like very much to have pictures of 40 HP Reeves, Gaar Scott, Advance and 36 HP Rumely and 30 HP Nichols & Shepard plowing engines. Also 30 HP Peerless, 32 HP Port Huron, 51 HP Northwest and 110 HP Case, and Port Huron double tandem compound and Minneapolis 45 HP double cylinder or heavy hear plow engines. Since I am retired, I have plenty of time to answer your letters.'

From 'down under', we hear from K. H. COLLINS, 4 Chapman Avenue, Chatswood, N.S., Australia, who writes: 'Around the turn of the century, my father made many trips to America on his way to Henry Disston & Son of Philadelphia, a firm of saw makers and timber milling equipment manufacturers which he represented throughout Australasia. I have often wondered in these days of 'take-over' if the firm still is in existence.'

This most welcome letter comes from one of our older, dear contributors, FRANK J. BURRIS, 1102 Box Canyon Road, Fallbrook, California 92028 : 'It has been many years since I was a regular contributor to the Album (Gossip from the Backshop), but noting that you are a bit in need of additional material for good Elmer's Masterpiece at this time, I shall try to move my wearied (82 year old-young?) bones and get back into a little frame of harness. (Thank you so much Frank). This is in the form of submitting to you a couple of photos each month, together with supporting comment, of subjects which should be of interest to all other old steam men. (Please do, we will look forward to each issue, Frank).

'Enclosed are two openers which are described thusly: 1. A photo which I snapped with my first good camera, a Voight lander film-packer, back in 1927 when I became a student-engineer with G.E. at Schenectady. This depicts one of those most venerable 'Hudson' class NYC locomotives with her express consist, picking up water on the run just across the river at Scotia, New York. The water reflection may be seen in the near track pans, while the scoop splash may be seen under the tender of the locomotive which was slowed to 45 mph for picking up. The large coal section of the tenders allowed of considerable length of runs between stops. These locomotives, built by American (next door to G. E. at Schenectady) were regarded as the ultimate development of the 4-6-4 wheel arrangement up to the close of the steam era.

'2. This snap was of the beautiful trestle and bridge across the Hudson, termed the Castle Cutoff, just below Albany, New York on the B & A railroad; understood to have been an affiliate of the NYC. The main motive power and loading on this route were the Berkshire engines (2-8-4) with heavy freight consists up into New England. Those were the halcyon days of railroading!

'By slippage of the pen, it is noted that in Carl Lathrop's fine little skit of his experiences over in those terrible 'Curtain' countries (page 15 of the Mar/Apr '85 IMA how did he dare those ventures?) the Turkish 2-10-0 freighter locomotive was referred to as a 'Decapod.' He may have been wafted some black smoke this time for this slippage; for the 2-10-0 wheel type bears White's classification as 'Santa Fe.' In our country, Pennsylvania built the largest Decapods ever; exceeding 100,000 pounds of maximum tractive effort, (2-10-0).'

1925 hand-fired Baldwin 2-6-0 steam locomotive no. 97. Still in use! This train operates on French Lick West Baden and Southern Railway on weekends at French Lick, Indiana.

Thought maybe you would like to try this Layer Salade specially for a covered dish affair or if you are serving quite a few folks. Make it the night before, which is an aid many times in preparation of a big dinner:
1 head of lettuce
1 cup celery, chopped
4 hard boiled eggs sliced
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen peas
1 medium onion, sliced
Mix 2 cups mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons sugar and spread over top-then bacon bits on top of that and then one cup grated cheese. Just put it in layers beginning to end. You'll be surprised it is really good, and especially with spaghetti, lasagna or etc.

That was food to eat and now some food for thought To belittle is to be little, to be grateful is to be great. .. .If you were another person, would you like to be a friend of yourself?.. .Some people know how to make a living but don't know how to live.... Have your tools ready and God will find you work.... Some people grin and bear it. Others smile and change it.

And that's about it for this time. I'm sure there are more of you out there who could be sending good writings for the Soot in the Flues, so keep writing. Love Ya! Have a good summer!