Soot in the flues

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I just can't believe i there it is the Nov.-Dec. issue already and I forgot to wish you Happy School Days, Spooky Hallowe'en, and a Happy Fallboy that's a play on words, isn't it? Don't take it seriously, I mean have an enjoyable autumn. Now that that is done, I can bring you Blessed Thanksgiving and Season's Greetings and Happy New Year and that brings me up to date real fast even if I am sitting here perspiring at the typewriter this hot one of the last summer day sat least calendar-wise.

I want you to know I haven't been to a Steam Reunion for a couple of years but this past week Tommy and I made a trip over to Williams Grove for a few hours and enjoyed the festivities there. My, how that Show has grown since I had last seen it. They really had quite a few large engines there and many oil-pulls and gas tractors and numerous smaller gas engines. Seemed like everyone was having a great time. Spoke to Mr. and Mrs. Dayton Nichols from Stafford, New York for quite a while they were making the rounds of several steam shows throughout the area. Chatted a few minutes with Pauline and Elmer Schaefer of Yoe, Pa. and heard many familiar names over the microphone (familiar to me from dealing with them through the magazines, but not as far as knowing them personallyI'm sorry I didn't meet each of you and have a gab session, but it's almost impossible to do this). I'm happy for the Show that they had such a nice turn-out and I believe they had pretty good weather for most of the days. Lots of Luck to Williams Grove Steam Engine Assoc. may you continue to grow in engines and friends.

K. D. GINGERICH, 2060 Lynn St., Sanford, Michigan 48657 would like any information you may have on the Pickering governor for a steam engine a 22 or 25 HP Advance Rumely. So get your pens in hand and drop K. D. a few lineshe's waiting to hear from you.

From MIKE HEY, Wellsville, Kansas 66092 we read: 'We just received the catalog and enjoy reading it. I see on page 43, Sept.-Oct. Iron-Men you have a write-up on the Doble Steam Car. We went through part of the factory. It was more than just a car, it was a steam plant. It would pass you on the street and you could not hear itit just ran so quiet. Howard Hughes bought onehe was worth billionsa high priced car. The factory was in Oakland, California. My wife and two children spent the winter out there. Never saw a flake of snow and just water in the radiator of my car-nice climate we were out sighting.

A line about the Doble Steam Car. They have no transmission, no clutch, no reverse gear. When you want to go back, just reverse the engine. It has a reverse lever and a steam throttle. The engine crankshaft is connected to the tail shaft to the rear axle. The engine has two cylinders like the Reeves steam engine. No dead center. It was a heavy car, a wonderful car, just too high priced.'

Nice informative letter from Mike and then he added: 'A June bug has a wing of gold A Lightening bug has a wing of flame A Bed bug has no wings at all, but he gets there just the same.'

ROY D. SHEETS, 4894 Infirmary Rd., Miamisburg, Ohio 45342 is restoring a 1914 40 HP Case steam engine and would like to know the dimensions of the fuel bunkers and canopy which covers the engine. Also where could he look for a flywheel and Case decals? (Any of you veterans out there could probably help Roydrop him a line.)

A few words from DENNIS SEMAN, R. R. 2, Greenville, Ohio 45331 who typed his letter as follows: 'I have a little information I would like to pass on to your readers. After buying an old steam engine always check the pressure gauge for accuracy because it may be off a little, either heavy or light and may cause damage to the boiler.

When we got our engine, we didn't bother to have the gauge checked and I thought it was odd that the engine ran when the gauge registered '0' and some stay bolts leaked each year. We had the gauge checked this last winter and found that when the gauge read 125 lb. it really was 145 lb. in the boiler. Considering it is a 67 year old boiler that was only designed to run with 130 lbs., we were lucky. After this, we will have the gauge tested.' (Sounds like good advice.)

KENNETH J. ONDRACEK, 2016 South 7th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68108 is a fairly new subscriber and says: 'I think I will come to like your magazine, however, would it be feasible for you to give my name and address to persons with knowledge of the steam engines featured in your magazine so they can give me pointers regarding the functions of the steam machines, as I might be interested in purchasing a small engine so I can blow the ten steam whistles that I have in my possession. It is very difficult for a beginner as myself to comprehend all which is printed in your Album.' There you are fellas someone who really is seeking some steam friends in correspondence. Drop him a line and let him know you are interested in a new member of the Iron-Men Family.

One of our neighbors, Mrs. Philip Fordney, Enola, Pennsylvania recently had an article in the editorial section of a local paper. I thought it was beautiful and timely for the Nov.-Dec. issue and I'd like to pass her story along to you.

'I keep wishing the whole world would have seen what I did last year, and maybe they would all have their faith renewed in God and the birth of Jesus. On Dec. 24, Hooked out of my bedroom window. And I thought, 'Could anything be more beautiful?' It had snowed and the trees had snow clinging to them and the wires also. The church across the street looked like the picture on Christmas cards. In the sky across the river was a beautiful star and a crescent moon. I had thought, 'Wouldn't this be a beautiful Christmas morning?'

But on Christmas morning when I awoke and looked out, I got the surprise of my life. Instead of the trees and wires hanging full of snow, there were icicles and a lot of it looked like beautiful lace that sparkled like diamonds. But the greatest miracle was this immense star. I never had seen anything like it and I know I never will again, as they had stated in the paper it only happens every 800 years. I knew this wasn't the star I had seen on the 24th, as I then saw it with the crescent moon.

I had told people about seeing this; some said, 'Why didn't you call me?' Some might have appreciated it but maybe not all.

So when I get sort of 'let down', I just think of this beautiful star on Christmas morning and wish that we could all be as wise as the Wise Men were so many years ago.

And I think that is a lovely story to leave with you as this Christmas draws near. May you all find a vision of great beauty as you approach Christmas.