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My Dear Iron-Men Album Familythis is a difficult column for me to writeI have told you different times of our hospital stays (Ed and I) seems we have had so many these past several years and our latest visits were in 1990. Ed had been in from Feb. 14 for 18 days and at that time it was heart again, and pneumonia and gallstones (which they could do nothing aboutexcept take an anti-indigestion liquid) and so he lost one of his greatest joys of eating. Then in October I was in toward the end of the month for five days and back in again from Nov. 2 to Nov. 29both times for my 'runaway heart' and anemia plus my other longtime ailments. I was so happy to get home the end of October, to get Ed to a Class Reunionwhich he dearly enjoyed, as he loved people and talking was one of his greatest joys.

While I was gone, our five wonderful children took turns coming to the house each night to be with him. Altogether, he had five heart attacks and a stroke two years ago which was really a hard illness to combat. And this year on January 11, Ed entered the hospitalhe knew this was the last trip. We had talked about it, and he was ready and had made his peace with Jesus. He had suffered so much, he wanted to get along to his heavenly home and so on January 23 he died.

I know many of you can identify with my anguishit certainly is not easy but God is so good. I was sick with asthma and bronchitis the day I took him to the doctors and then to the hospital. And that evening our one son, Donnie, came home and was here for quite a few weeks. I did get down to visit Ed each day for which I was thankful. I take great comfort in our five wonderful children that was our greatest accomplishment in our lives and what better could one ask for than such a blessing.

Ed loved working at funerals. He helped for about seven years and had always wished he had been an undertaker. So, we never look at funerals in a negative way. I think he would have liked his funeral Donnie, Eddie, Dana and I spoke a tribute at the funeral services. Keli played two or his favorite hymns on the piano, and later Tommie came over to me and said, 'Mom, that was nice how you all did, but I just can't get up and do something like that,' and I assured him that made no difference for he was faithful the whole time helping with Dad. He stops almost every day to see me just to tell me he loves me he's done this for a long time and sees the garbage gets out, cuts the grass and etc. We all have our ways of showing our love.

I did wonder though why I had to be away in the hospital 33 days when it wasn't too long after I came home that Ed had to leave and I questioned God about this and I received the greatest peace, as he let me know he had wanted all of the children to know him better as he was in this time of his life. It's rough going through this, but God is so good and we are all doing just fine, which is the way Ed would want us to feel.

And so, dear ones, we must get on with the publishing of the magazine as it is time for the May-June issue.

A happy member of our family writes: 'What a wonderful surprise it was when I saw my photograph 'Ghost Past' on the front cover of the Jan/Feb 1991 issue of the Iron-Men Album as well as having one of my photographs published on the back cover of the same issue. Making the front and back cover of your magazine to a steam fan is like making the cover of Time magazine.

'Presently I am building a small portable steam engine. At this time, I am doing the plumbing/pipe fitting now which enables the steam to flow from the boiler to a 3 x 2 x 3 Snow steam pump and also to my 3 x 4Vi steam engine. Restoring steam engines is a hobby of mine, since I am an electronic technician by trade. I am learning as I go along. I am planning to send pictures and write an article about the process I went through to build my little portable engine when I complete it. (Please do).

'I would like to see more articles from readers who have restored old steam engines, telling how they overcame the problems they encountered while restoring them.' (This letter came from LARRY D. VAN DE MARK, 209 N. Grimes, Carl Junction, Missouri 64834).

LOWELL HAYES, 275 Weed Drive, Columbia, South Carolina 29212Telephone 803-781-6603 writes: 'I have a Tozier engine manufactured by John A. Willis of Columbia, South Carolina. I bought it through Mother Earth News a couple of years ago. It is supposed to be in operating condition but I have never been brave enough to fire it up. Are there any readers out there who would like to help me? Please call or write.'

'I have been hearing about miniature steam power amusement park rides and would like to see articles about them in the magazine that you send out.' writes WAYNE 'DENNIS' NALE, 3335 Latham Drive, Texas 75229. (How about it? Anyone have any information on this subject? Let Wayne hear and let us know too. We would appreciate it)

C. R. SINDELAR, S47 W22300 Lawnsdale Road, Waukesha, Wisconsin 53186 sends this concerning Jan/Feb 1991 issue: 'I sure do hope you'll publish any findings you get regarding the inquiry by Ted Stein of Streator, Illinois, and the remains of that mystery steamer he located. What are those wheels from? The answer will help educate us new kids on the block, and it also might well surprise some of the old kids who think they know it all.

'Regarding a picture in the same issue in an article by Art Brigham about the Oak Creek Show: The caption under the picture on page 18 implies incorrectly that the engine pictured is Jim Tesch's 80 (#35202). It is not! Rather, it is Willard Griswold's 65, #35326 that is now owned by Jim Ecker of Stockbridge, Wisconsin. I'm sorry about that Jimbut to many of us that engine will always be Willard Griswold's 65.

'Regarding the 'Dorset Steam Fair' on page 20 of the same issue the Case engine pictured is surely not engine number C-632. That would make it an 1879 model which it is not. That number would rather appear to be a part number. My parts book calls C-632 a Reverse Shaft, prior to engine number 9046. The picture clearly shows the short smoke box which indicates production prior to 1910. In some ways it is similar to my 1907, 9 HP, engine number 18630. One can see the two bolts on the side of the smoke box where the engine number plate should be but it is missing. Maybe the number should be 18632? or ? but it certainly is not C-632.

'I am concerned that each issue of IMA seems to be shorter than the previous issue. We must take steps to reverse this alarming trend. You readers get busy! Write up a story on your engine, or your show, or something you've seen. Maybe you could send in a picture or two or more. You surely have something that you don't need. I urge everyone to do their part to help. Let's make the IMA as great as it can be it would be great if there were more material.

'I admit I am not a writer and I'm sure there are critics among you who will be able to find considerable fault with what I submit. Maybe there are those of you who are saying' he's just blowing smoke'. Well, I am committed to doing my part. You just watch the issues yet to come. My name will not be in every issue, but I assure you it'll pop up from time to time. Your goal should be to do the same. I know there are some who say they don't have time. I say to that horse feathers! I have long considered myself to be the busiest person I know. I learned long ago that if you need help, don't ask the person who appears to have nothing to do, as he surely feels he is far too busy. Look for a person who is truly swamped with work. A person with his fingers in many projects burns up a lot of energy but some way always find the time somewhere to help a friend when needed.'

(Thanks for trying to get some more material in to me, Chuck. I would really like that, but I realize IMA stones are not as available as gas engine ones as they must all come from people who own engines or pass them along down to the next generation, and there are only a limited number of steam traction engines gas engines are more widely owned and less inexpensive. But, I do believe there are many stories and pictures out there that need to find their rightful place in our magazine. So, how about it, steam lovers, I'll be eagerly waiting for your communications. And yes, you can write I'll figure it out and it need not be perfect, just interesting).

CORNELIUS F. PAULUS, Route 3, Box 79AG, Douglas, Georgia 31533 sends us these three pictures with information. No.1 is a Minneapolis engine plowing; Ken Brownell is driving. Steve Moe, Route 1, Downing, Wisconsin is operating the engine. This engine was purchased new in 1911. Steve's grandfather was hired to run it, later bought it, then left it to Steve's father and now Steve has ita one family engine! No. 2 and 3These pictures were made with a Kodax box camera about 1934-35. On the engine is C. F. Paulus, about 16 years old. Mr. LeTendre is talking to him he was the tank man. With his back to the camera by the bundle wagons is my father, George Paulus. Threshing was at our place, Pioneer Farm, Drywood, Wisconsin. Baker 23-90 Uniflow engine, and Rumely 36-60 Separator.

'The man by the engine, Amados LeTendre was my very good friend. He spent many hours telling me about 1886 until the logging days as known by him were just about gone. He was a first class river man and I personally knew three men who felt they owed their lives to him as he had rescued them from drowning at one time or another on river drives. If only I could have all his stories on tape!! (Or written and sent in to this column).

The following communication comes from STUART ROSE, 6342 Bliss Road, Saranac, Michigan 48881: 'Here is something to discover in this new year. Does anybody know the whereabouts of this engine and/or the location this picture was taken?

'Several clues are obvious, such as the sign George L. Johnson, Auctioneer-Realtor, LaCross, Indiana; the 'decorated' silo, windmill in background etc. The engine is perhaps a Case 60 fitted for a street parade and how about that headlight on the frontsure is a dandy!

'I sure enjoy your magazine and am involved in the slow process of building a 7/l6 scale Advance Rumely 22 HP steam traction engine. The boiler is nearly complete. I need the following information on (1) procurement of engine castings, or patterns; and (2) differential gears. (Massey-Harris '55' differential would work).

'This picture belonged to my grandfather, Sheldon A. Rose, who passed away on June 9,1967. Grandad farmed north of Saranac most of his life and was knowledgeable on just about any engine or tractor with which he came in contact.'

'As my wife wrote the check for 're-fuel' time, a funny thought went through my mind, writes JAMES BYRD, 1310 Via DeLuna Drive Beach, Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561.

'I turned 70 not too long ago and I thoughtI've lived through hay and oats re-fuel, to gasoline or more often, kerosene or fuel oil.

'In threshing, I worked the last years of steam power, to tractor power and then worked a combine rig for two or three seasons before World War II took me away from the farms.

'During the farm years, I went through the big Depression and as if that wasn't enough, we went through five years of dust bowl, about the middle of the Depression, and many of us were tested again as we fought and won a war on two vast fronts that divided the world on each side of us.

'A question!Are there any reprints available of literature on the Twin City tractor line? I recall the 18-25s that were used to pull eight foot blade Adams leaning wheel graders in the Byrd Township Road District where I grew up.

'Also, Massey Harris threshers?? Anything on them? Their ads in the farm magazines always featured a pair of masculine hands rubbing grain loose from a group of wheat heads, with the caption 'Massey-Harris Threshers rub the grain from the straw.' They never elaborated, but I wonder if they were pioneers of the rasp bar threshing cylinder that became almost universal later in combines. We all remember the 'harvest brigades' of combines, mostly Massey Harris, that harvested the wheat in the western plains, mostly right after W.W. II.

'In Jackson, Missouri there is a thresher in a farm museum named 'The Freeze Thresher'. It was built in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It has an unusual shaker system to sift the grain from the straw following the main threshing cylinder. It is different, being of a series of fingered shafts that intermesh with each other and keep slipping the straw over and over them. It must have been a very smooth running machine.

'Yes, I know Billy Byrd. We are good friends and very possibly distant kin. All the Byrds I know of came from England Commonwealth and were active in the Williamsburg Colonial Government.'

WILLIAM FLOWERS, Route 1, Box 332, Adena, Ohio 43901 sent this in pertaining to a sale of some of the equipment belonging to the late William Humphyville of Mount Pleasant, Ohio. Thought some folks might be interested in it. 16 HP Russell, 1921, #17025, $11,000; HCK Huber 1930, $700; 1968 Cub Cadet garden tractor, $900; South Bend 9' lathe, $1000; New Injector, $35; 3' Lukenheimer Plain Whistle, $210; Crane 3' Plain Whistle, $150; Uprite Steam Engine, $600; Uprite Boiler, $275; Small 1 cylinder Model Steam Engine, $600; and Small 1 Cylinder Model Steam Engine, $275.

Since this is the May-June issue and Mother's Day is May 12th, I thought you might be interested in part of a letter to a mother from an adoring daughterthus:

'My mother is one of the most important people in my life. Sometimes, I think if I give her everything she really deserves, NOT presents, but the most important things in life like love, care and thankfulness, that would be more loving.

'She barely has any time to herself. All day long she is either watching us kids, cleaning up all our toys and things that we leave out and never pick up, or cooking to feed us. And what do we do while she is doing all that? We're always playing with something or other. We don't really think about how hard it is to take care of us kids. There are three of us, you know; my younger sister, Megan, 6, and my brother, Timmie 4 and me. And sometimes it is very hard to do everything that she needs to do.

'A lot of times, I used to think, 'Boy, my Mom is really mean because she won't let me do anything,' but now I know that's not true. She really does love me when she says 'No'she just doesn't want me to do whatever I had asked her.

'I think I should start being more thankful. The things she does don't seem very big, but they really areI really care about my Mom because she is very caring, loving, nice and she loves all of us the same.

'So, from now on I'm going to start being more thankful and helpful. Mom, I really love you. Sometimes, I don't act like it, but I really do. You are the best in the world. Thanks for everything! One thing is for sureno matter what happens, if we get in a fight or if we don't agree, I will never stop loving you.'

This was written by my granddaughter, Kortni, 12 years old. She had told me about writing it for Mother's Day and I suggested that I put it in my columnI thought many of you would enjoy itand it probably brings back some memories of your daughters. Kortni's mother is Keliremember she worked for the magazines for quite awhileI know some of you remember her.

And actually I guess the children do leave things out etc., but in all honesty, they are all well-disciplined, well-mannered children, but I think the above letter was sweet and this is a surprise for her mother. She knows nothing about this letter.