SOOT IN THE FLUES

Soot in the Flues

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I know you are all anxious for this magazine for it means its 'Fun Time' again touring the Reunions and enjoying all those wonderful things that happen to fill your storehouse of memories for the next winter such as the smell of the steam and the lovely soot that sprites through the air onto your new shirt or blouse who cares, it's all part of something called 'happiness' when you're a Steam Fiend. And how about the whistles blowing isn't that wonderful when they all start shrieking? Such noise no! such music to your ears and how about the contests; tug of war, teeter totter, etc., not to mention the many things that accompany these affairs as the Flea Markets, the delicious Dinners served by different organizations, the jokes and tricks on each other, the interest in each new display, the entertainments at evening, the Worship time which most of these Reunions still maintain and most of all the wonderful friendships that blossom forth from folks interested in the same hobby. It's a good life after all, isn't it?? All cares are forgotten or at least filed away for this short time when you can be happy with your kind of folks I hope these Reunions continue for many years, for I know from your letters how much you all love these Shows and anything that relates to them.

And now I'd better get on to some letters that may interest you such as the one from Ray Anderson.

RAY D. ANDERSON, Route 5, Box 537, Winchester, Virginia 22601 sent us a story on a steam engine in Honolulu that is being restored and I thought it would be interesting to you.

It seems there is a man named John Knaus who works six days a week and is a staunch family man, even though he steals away every Sunday to a quiet valley on another shore of the island to visit his other love. Sometimes his wife goes along. He isn't alone as at least six other men come each week to restore an ancient lady from Hawaii's past.

It's been two years since he began to spare No. 6, a locomotive, the agonies of the scrap yard. The 23 ton locomotive enjoys more attention than it did in 34 years of toil in the fields of sugar cane. Every piece of sheet metal had been rusted out, but they have made many improvements on the engine. A new water tank proudly straddles the boiler and a new cab has replaced the battered one. It has a new coat of paint and 66 new flues inside the boiler.

Recently, they fired the engine up and it ran very well, but had a surprise for the spectators. As the steam chuffed through the stack for the first time in two decades, it dislodged an accumulation of dirt and rocks and blew about 40 gallons of hot mud all over everyone.

The group is now negotiating with the Navy to operate the engine on four miles of track between the Navy ammunition dump at Lualualei and Kahe Point Beach Park.

No. 6 began life in 1905 as an assortment of spare parts for five new plantation engines. By 1016, a long-forgotten mechanic realized there were nearly enough parts to make a locomotive. A boiler and other parts were ordered and No. 6, which is the only known locomotive to be built in Hawaii, steamed out of the shop in 1918.

It might have run until it fell apart, but the Waialua engines were muscled out by trucks in 1952. No. 6 was retired to a park where rust and vandalism made it very unsightly.

By April, 1970 it was on its way to the junkpile when Mr. Knaus wrote asking if his group could restore the engine. The Waialua Sugar Company, owners of the engine, answered in the affirmative and Knaus had to organize his groupas a chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

They have some well-skilled people in the group and an agreement with the Waialua Company that they may operate it as long as they paint it green and have Waialua Agricultural Company painted on the tank.

Well, that's another happy story of a lost engine being found and made a 'Queen' again. And I'm sure these folks have a wonderful time with their similar hobby. Best of luck to all.

I'd like also to thank DAVID N. BERTELSON, Antelope, Montana 59211 for sending a tape to me. It was quite interesting Dave. One side was entitled 'Bertelson & Romstad Threshing Days' and the other side was Hobos and Welfare and Odds and Ends'.

Coming up next is an amusing article on the misuse of statisticsit's Anonymous, and I don't know where I got it from or anything else about it, except I think you'll enjoy it.

'The population of this country is 180 million, but there are 82 million over 62 years of age, leaving 98 million to do the work. People under 21 total 54 million, which leaves 44 million to do the work. Then there are 21 million who are employed by the government and that leaves 23 million to do the work.

'Ten million are in the Armed Forces, leaving 13 million to do the work. Deduct 12,800,000 housewives, who actually do nothing but housework and that leaves 200,000 to do the work. There are 126,000 in hospitals and other institutions and that leaves 74 thousand people. But 62,000 of these are derelicts or others who will not work, so that leaves 12,000 to do the work.

'It may interest you to know that there are 11,998 people in jail, so that leaves two people to do all the work. And that is you and me, and brother, I'm getting tired of doing everything myself!'

Is that how you sometimes feel?

Thought you'd get a chuckle or two from it.

I have a beautiful prayer I'd like to insert in this columnsome of you may have heard it, or a similar onecalled Prayer For Older FolksLord, you know that I am growing older and I must look to you for help and answers and the desire and determination to keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially to keep me from falling into the tiresome habit of expressing an opinion on every subject.

Let me be free from the yearning to straighten out everybody's affairs. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details and repetition of same. Hasten me to get to the point.

Give me grace, Dear Father, to listen to others describe their aches and pains. Help me to endure the boredom with patience and to keep my lips sealed. For my own aches and pains are increasing in number and intensity and the pleasure of discussing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

Teach me the glorious lesson that, occasionally, I might be mistaken. Help me to be reasonably sweet, I do not wish to be a saintsaints are so hard to live withbut a sour person is the crowning work of the devil.

Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not pushy; independent, yet able to accept with graciousness, favors that others wish to bestow on me.

Free me of the notion that simply because I have lived a long time I am wiser than those who have not lived so long.

If I do not approve of some of the changes that have taken place in recent years, give me the wisdom to keep my mouth shut.

Lord knows that when the end comes I would like to have a friend or two left.

Now this was supposed to be an old folks prayer, but as I see it, it could apply to almost any age, as every dayyou grow older. I'm going to read and reread it and try to practice it perhaps it fits in with my favorite short prayer'Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can AND The Wisdom to know the difference (that third part is the rough onethe Wisdom.)

That about ties it up for this time, so get out and get going to the Shows if I'm lucky I might meet some of you and if not, I hope to be hearing from you and be careful and God Bless. Steamcerely yours, Anna Mae.