Soot in the flues

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Hey, got your Christmas shopping done? Well, this is the November-December issue and that means Christmas is on the way if only we could give 'salvation' as a gift, I'd send it to each of you, but can't be done that way you can have it, though, but it's up to you to accept the gift of Jesus into your heart and start growing and walking in God's will from there you'll never regret it!

Well, as most of you know I don't get to the reunions very often, but this year I had asked our Tommy if there was anything he particularly would like to do yet this summer. He told me he would like to go somewhere where he could stay in a nice motel overnight as he had never done this-now we have been to the shore in nice cabins, etc. but he had not been in a motel. So, I was fortunate enough to get a room right across the street from the Rough & Tumble Reunion at Kinzers, Pennsylvania and Tommy 11, and grandson, Ryan 7, and yours truly went down on Friday for the day and enjoyed the motel living that night and stayed for most of Saturday's activities and then headed home.

The boys enjoyed themselves just walking around taking in the many sights and activities as the oxen team, the sawmilling, the engines, large and small, and of course, they both like flea markets. The trip, all in all, was quite rewarding I like to do things with them and they keep you stepping they got quite a thrill out of the Shay locomotive that Bruce Gronninger had donated to the Museum, as they got to ride on it quite often and at times, up with the engineer.

I wasn't down to Kinzers last year, but it seems to me it really is growing in attendance. Upon arrival 11 met Mr. & Mrs. William Cunningham of Washington, D.C. we enjoyed a nice little chat....Then a handshake with Jim Layton and happy to talk with him. Later on almost literally bumped into Brown Loflin and Howard Latham from North Carolina. They are the spark plugs of the Fly-In and Thresher's Reunion had their sixth show this year..... Also talked with Nancy Hopper from Hesston, Pennsylvania who is quite active with the Morrison's Cove Association and travels to many other shows. She is quite versatile and promised to send me a story of her many interests and the story of her new house with the old cook stoves and I'm not sure how its done, but she cans with steam somehow and does 75 quarts at a time how about that? And she bakes bread in a stone oven I'm not sure if that's at one of the shows or at home-there were so many interesting tidbits we'll just have to wait until she sends us her story....Also spoke with Aaron Kauffman of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and bid the time of day with Johnny Mast, Gap, Pennsylvania.

Also had a few words with W. S. Eshleman of Lancaster who was the M.C. and was kept very busy.

It was really nice to get to meet some of you folks best of luck in the future with your shows.

An inspiring letter comes from JOHN AND MARY RICHTER, 26444 Taft Road, Novi, Michigan 48050: 'Just a line to tell you we have attended several shows this year. My husband used to go with a threshing outfit, threshing, filling silos, husking corn, baling hay, etc. throughout this area, never owning one of his own. Old machinery is in his blood. He is now in his 70's and has been totally blind for over 36 years on account of an accident from splitting logs for the county good roads. He was presented with a plaque for 'The Most Unique Display at Central Antique Tractor and Engine Club held at Macon, Michigan in July 1976. We are both in our middle 70's and both going strong.' (Praise the Lord! Isn't that a wonderful note to us and may you have many more happy times John and Mary Bless you!)

A few encouraging words come from EARL BARTHOLOMEW, 154 South Eagle Street, Geneva, Ohio 44041. He wrote in to renew his subscription and commented: 'It is not necessary to say how much I do enjoy each issue, and being now an old man, 74 (that's not old Earl, that's just a young Iron-Man), and retired, one of my 'highs' every two months is receiving your publication. I'm sorry I did not know of it many years ago.'

FRANKIE VAN DUSEN, Route 1, Dawn, Missouri 64638 had been inquiring about heat resistant paint -evidently, it must be very hard to find. Anyone know where to buy this item, please let us know, and Frankie. (Sorry, Frankie, I know this wasn't printed in time to help your recent project, but perhaps you can profit from it for later projects).

A few words from ROY E. ASHCRAFT, Route 2, Frazeyburg, Ohio 43822: 'I like the stories in your magazine very much. I am wondering if anybody has any pictures of two engines built at Newark, Ohio during the last half of 1800's the Schidler and McManar.' (The Schiedler sounds familiar to me Roy, seems like we had some pictures in Album and the other I'm not sure if I've ever heard that name or not what about it fellows?--are they pretty rare?-do we have anyone out there that wishes to write a story on them?)

In July-August I.M.A. there was an article on W. F. Hovetter, Walnut Bottom, Pennsylvania which was written by W. J. Eshleman, 722 East End Avenue, Lancaster, Pa. 17602. Since it has been published, Mr. Eshleman received a nice letter from W. F. Hovetter which he thought would be nice to share with the readers: Mr. Hovetter writes: 'The story was an excellent piece of work and I received much comment and remarks and it was all very good. I am amazed at the spread and circulation of this magazine. One fellow called me on the phone from Los Angeles, California and talked for twenty minutes. He said he will call again. He operates a machine shop and left Pennsylvania 42 years ago, and is a subscriber to I.M.A.'

Another letter is from a locomotive engineer in Chicago.

I am working at a disadvantage as I am crippled (broken foot) as I was pulling a large cherry stump out of road with a chain hoist and the chain broke and the hoist landed on my foot. I was on crutches for quite a spell. At present, I only use a cane. I travel fairly well and expect to attend the Kinzer Reunion. I'll report in as soon as I arrive.'---well Mr. Eshleman sent the message with this letter that Mr. Hovetter recovered from the stump accident and was at Kinzer, as straight as a stick, and not using even a cane. Mr. Hovetter said he received many more cards and letters from all over, and is amazed at I.M.A. circulation.

Mr. Eshleman also reports that Bill Strayer of Dillsburg, Pa. had three letters of interest and commendation on his story 'The Tramp Fireman' which was in September-October I.M.A.

I usually do not like to write the same story or events of our family in both magazines, but so many of you folks are familiar with our family because you knew them before the Gas Engine Magazine was printed and last issue of G.E.M. I brought everyone up to date on the Branyan doings for those of you who read it in that issue, please skip the next few paragraphs.

This has been quite a year for us as there are many changes across the board in our lives - our 22 year old Donny has set-up housekeeping in an apartment of his own which is much closer to his work and he is only about four miles away from us -funny how much you miss them though, but we're happy for him and he is quite responsible for taking care of himself.

Then July 10th, our 19 year old Keli Anne became the wife of Michael Gaffney in a beautiful ceremony in the Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Her sister, Dana, was her matron of honor and she had two bridesmaids in the bridal party. Of course, there was a best man, and two ushers - her brother Donny was one of the ushers and our young Tommy handed out the rice bags which made him quite proud to be a part of the wedding activities.

You don't know our Keli, but she is a beautiful girl with long blonde hair down to her waist, 6 feet tall and elegant posture. She loves daisies and her gown was white with daisies imprinted on the material; the other girls gowns were the same material of daisies with yellow background. They all wore the floppy hats and carried, you guessed it, daisies; a wedding of beauty and simplicity. The groom wore a black and white tuxedo and the other male members of the wedding party wore tuxedos of yellow and black, which was quite striking in effect.

The NEW Mr. and Mrs. Michael Gaffney were radiant as they came down the aisle, out the doors and into their future together did I cry? No, I don't cry at weddings, if I did it would be for JOY. Sure - we have growing pains as they leave and we must go on to more maturity in our lives - it isn't easy for parents when a child leaves home, but I wouldn't want it any other way. We're very happy for them and we always like to think we're receiving another member into our family, not losing one.

A reception was held at a nearby restaurant with a beautiful and delicious luncheon. And the traditional ceremony was held of throwing the garter, and the bouquet, midst the oohs and aahs of friends and relatives. And dancing -they had lots of music and dancing - it was wonderful - and as our oldest son and family came down from Stroudsburg, our family was together for a time of festivity and happiness. It's pretty hard to have the whole Branyan Bunch together anymore and to me this was happiness abounding.

Oh, the wedding did not go without flaws - do they ever?? Rehearsal was complete chaos, then later that evening the one usher's wife had her baby early which created some excitement and he, of course, was in the wedding but had to leave shortly after the ceremony to visit wife and new son. Dana's zipper on the back of her dress opened just as we were going into the reception (one of these self-healing zippers? JOKE! - we got the one that would not self-heal or heal with help and we couldn't get the dress off, or get the zipper up) SOO those little gold safety pins marched right up the back of her dress and she enjoyed herself anyway. At least, it didn't happen for the wedding ceremony Praise The Lord! All in all, its a day we'll long remember as one of the happiest occasions in the Branyan family.

Well, that about covers it for this time Friends, and remember--get your Reunion dates to me as soon as possible for the 1977 Directory.

In closing, I'd like to use something which was sent to me by Moe Antique Acre Museum, DeForest, Wisconsin it's on their name card and it states: THAT WHICH LASTS When at last we come to die, it may not seem important that we had a good salary, that we amassed some property, or that we were elected to some office. That which will give us deep satisfaction is that we do try to do God's will, that we befriended people in need, and that we have hope to people who were discouraged-----and then also under their name, it states 'they who forget History, live dangerously.'

Bye Bye and God Bless you as you look forward to the Thanksgiving and Christmas Season.