SOOT IN THE FLUES

Soot In The Flues

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Well school bells are just now beckoning the children back to school as we prepare to get the Nov-Dec issue of IMA in the final stages - and so it goes with the jet age - we must be away ahead with our copy and writings to get the magazines to you folks on time.

And spekaing of school I must tell you August 23rd, our eldest son, Eddie, now 25, got his Master's Degree in Health and Physical Education at Stroudsburg State College which we are all quite proud of and I know no one is prouder than he and his family. It's a hard earned award, but I'm sure one well worth it.

Then here on the homefront, Donnie is entering 9th grade and Keli is going into 7th both very important grades in anyone s eyes. Of course Tommie has another year until he will be going to Kindergarten - oh yes - how swiftly the time passes.

We had a nice summer here, spent a few days in Williamsburg, Virginia with daughter Dana and hubby, Bob. While there, we were able to tour Williamsburg and Jamestown - believe me it is well worth any one's time. And my spirit was replenished somewhat as I saw the throngs of people touring these historical sites, for says I to myself - 'If there are these many folks here, surely they must be touring all the other historical places in the United Satest also, and after some of the news we've been hearing lately, I thought nobody cared anymore about the history of our country or our patriotic interest. By darn, everybody can't be uninterested in the nation's past and future. Yes, siree - I still have faith in the core of our society.'

We also took a day and went down Lancaster way and toured some of the spots, one of them being the Strassburg Railroad - took the ride on the old No. 90 which broke no speed records and that's for sure - we all enjoyed it' A few days previously, we had gone to Philadelphia Zoo on the modern electrical M.U. which moved a mite faster I must say. So a few days here and there, a picnic now and then with good friends, quite a few spashes in the pool, two trips to Bangor to visit with Eddie and family and all these little jaunts made for a worthwhile summer in my book.

From time to time now you will be seeing some real 'oldies' in pictures in in the magazine as two boxes of pictures were found that were from many years way back before I ever started with the magazine - some are from you folks that are still sending in and some are from unfamiliar names - but I didn't want to throw them out and I'm sure you'll all appreciate them.

By the way, if you folks have pictures that you had sent in and want back and haven't received them, please write me and if I can possibly find them I'll send them back.

I know there have been some that are lost or that we never received, but there maybe some lying here through a misunderstanding - because unless you state on the back of the picture or in your letter to return the pictures, I file them. Now, any I've received and have been in the last few years, if you haven't gotten them back, I should have them as I have a pretty good system worked out to keep them now. And I have pictures back a few years before that I'd have to look through, but then before I ever handled the pictures and stories -I know nothing about them as I guess they were disposed of as used. Anyhow write if you want to know something and we'll see you get an answer - may be not the right answer, but we'll try hard.

Also in finding the older pictures I have a whole box of pictures with no name or description on and I'm working up a new page to use them as 1 think you'll enjoy trying to figure them out as to who the people are, what kind of engines and perhaps to whom the picture belonged.

We had a nice letter from Merle W. Shipley of Box 307, 92230, Cabazon, California that we thought was worth sending along - just to show how after many years one finally learns of the Iron Men Album and family. ''You may never receive this letter for you may be out of business by this time. I never knew until approximately three months ago thai there was such a magazine as yours. I have five copies of this wonderful magazine, all of 1 915 issue, given to me by sister who lives in Oregon. She lost her husband, my brother-in-law, less than a year ago. As she came down to visit me, she brought with her these magazines that apparently had been taken by my brother-in-law away back in '55.

I am a man 72 years old and am retired. When I was a boy my parents and I along with this sister, lived in North Dakota six years, from 1902 until the spring of 1908. At that time there were lots of steam traction engines where we lived in Cando, North Dakota. In the spring of 1908, we moved to northeastern Montana. This was prairie country, where in a few years there were thousands of acres of mostly wheat grown. At that time there were a few steam outfits in use, but in a short time the gas tractor took over and these gas giants are more what I remember as a boy, but I have always preferred good old steam.' And so, we now have another new subscriber in our family since, he, by chance, came across the historical publication.

A letter from Chas. M Eyer of Route 1, Box 214, Brookport, Illinois 62910 -he writes us: 'I was a railroad fireman in the mid twenties in the Paducah district of the Kentucky division and I am pretty sure that I made a trip or two on the old 2953 that you have pictured in your Jan-Feb. issue. That engine was in the coal run between Paducah, Kentucky and Central City, Kentucky. The 2900 and 3000 class engines were the largest in that run. The 3000 class had standard stokers and the 2900 had duplex stokers.

I have been a diesel engineer on the river for the past 26 years and at the present time I am chief engineer on a diesel towboat running from Lockport, Illinois to St. Paul, Minnesota. That is our summer run but when the upper Mississippi is frozen over we run just about everywhere, on the Ohio, Cumberland, Tenn., Lower Mississippi and the Intracoastal waterways into Florida and Texas. It is a very interesting job.

I have color movies of all of the rivers that we have run on and have been on some unusual runs. We make a round trip from Lockport, Illinois to St. Paul, Minn, about every 20 days and take about 76.000 bbls. of gasoline or fuel oil each trip. Also move a lot of jet fuel. Right now we are about 20 miles above

St. Louis, Mo., and we will have 8 barges of oil products carrying about 150,000 bbls. as we will our regular tow, plus another boats tow. ' Sounds like Charles does have an interesting job. I tried to look up the engine No. 2953 he was talking about but couldn't find it, but perhaps you fellows will know what he means.

Elmer had a birthday on September 5 and is now the young age of eighty and I'm sure you all, with me, wish him some more happy years some more happy steam reunions and lots of good times with the friends he loves. In going through the picture boxes I told you about I came across a few of Elmer and I'm going to put them in from time to time.

As you must realize this picture was taken a few years ago but you can tell it's a Pennsylvania Dutchman at the throttle as no one else could look quite so pleased on a Frick. If his picture were taken today on there, it wouldn't look too differently - he's older, naturally and a little thinner from the wounds of the battle of life, but personally think I he still looks a good bit the same.

Just think if we each could do as much for the world and for others as he has done! I'm sure in his work as a minister he has eased many hearts, helped to solve problems and lead many in the right direction. As a steam enthusiast and one interested in many old types of machinery, think of what he has done through the magazines - yes, they have been fun and interesting to those who desire these same things as hobbies, but think also because of his endeavors, of the educational values and historical aspects these publications have made possible for many. As a boss, he's tops, very easy to get along with and a as person, he has always been very jovial and understanding of all ages and a friend of all that know him. My family and I. who have known him quite a few years now as a minister, employer and good friend say, 'Happy Belated Birthday Elmer and many more' - (He wouldn't let me put all this in if he knew about it, but since I handle what goes into the magazine he won't know until it's too late - anyhow when it's all said and done, I think folks like to hear about themselves - especially if it's nice things and more so if they're true).

Now, to all those off to the halls of education remember this quotation made by a great man - 'I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come ' - Lincoln

And to those about to go to the polls to cast their votes - I have no advice -just go and vote (I know the conventions were about as organized as a toddler's birthday party) but it is still our privilege to go vote; so let's look at the good side of things and hope all candidates are worthy and hope that through divine guidance a dedicated man will be elected - dedicated, that is, to God and country and serving the people in the country and serving the people in the country and serving the people in the best way possible for the rights of all concerned.

Oh yes, and have a nice Thanksgiving and most wonderous Christmas and let's all look forward to making it a better New Year