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Greetings to all our Iron Men Album family as we head toward a new year here comes the November-December issue of 1981. Can it be possible? You mean another year is heading down the last miles. Have you ever noticed as you grow older, the times goes faster? Well, one thing as the saying goes, 'older is better', but I think that was for wine, or did that mean people too? They say we have more wisdom as we mature in years think so?? Oh well, on to some communications:

Our first letter comes from a man that needs help, but as yet is not a subscriber help him if you can. Perhaps he'll be one of our family before too long. This writing comes from MURTON W. PENNIE, Villard, Minnesota 56385 and he says: 'I am not a subscriber to the IMA because a close friend takes the magazine, but I am the 'inquirer.'

When I was a young lad, I remember seeing a bean thresher in operation, threshing navy beans. It was a small machine, I suppose it was 4 feet wide, 6 feet long and maybe 4 feet high and powered by a 4 or 5 HP gasoline engine. Now, this was 65 years ago and I have never seen a bean thresher since. I go to several thresher shows each year and I run an engine at the show at Dalton, Minnesota but no bean threshers. So, I thought that perhaps the IMA with its coverage might know where they used to be made or might be available. I suppose combines take care of the bean crops nowadays. One of those old small machines would be an attraction this day and age. I would like to hear from anyone that might know something about the old bean threshers.' (Hey fell as, let him hear from you. I know we have had bean threshers mentioned at different times, but I have no way to look up something like this. If you know of any stories in our magazine, please let us know. And I am wondering if there are any bean threshers at any of the shows. Let's hear from you.)

Following is a letter and some pictures from HERBERT REESE, SR., P.O. Box 38, Greenbush, Minnesota 56726. Herb used to send material quite often to our magazines. He would like to see this letter and pictures in IMA so here it is, as Herb says 'I am pushing 82 and may not be able to attend too many shows.' Herb was hoping this would be in the September-October issue as he mentions about being at that show, but I am sorry this information was not here soon enough. Following is Herb's letter as he tells of his experiences.

Herbert Reese (p. 12) by his newly restored Best Cat 30 with belt pulley. He used to own two of them from 1927 to 1934. In 1934 he sold one to Steve Forester at Manvel, North Dakota. Later he bought that one back and used it for a few more years pulling rollers and other lighter jobs on road construction. On page 42 of his book, '75 Years Blazing Trails' he shows them at work in the Spring of 1929 plowing up a new gravel pit. Maynard Peterson, left and Harold Grill right. Both of those fine men were Cat operators, and passed away some years ago.

The Best Company built the most durable Cats on the market. The Caterpillar Tractor Company was formed by Benjamin Holt and C. L. Best companies merging. That Caterpillar registered trademark was patented by Holt before the 20s and is still used by Caterpillar today. The Caterpillar Company got the patent rights from Rudolph Diesel in 1929 and built a few hundred Rudolph 65 Diesel engines. In 1930 those engines were put in Best Cat 60 chassis. Herb bought Serial #29, it being the 29th Diesel Cat in the United States.

George Logue is now the proud owner of Herb's I. C. 29 Rudolph Diesel Cat. The only reason he sold it was to help him as he is trying to collect one model of each machine Cat built in the first 25 years. If anyone would want to stop at Trout Run, Pennsylvania, George would be happy to show his fine collection which now numbers about 50 beautiful machines.

Herb has since restored a 65 Rudolph Diesel Cat. He found a very rare 65 power unit that had been used to power a sawmill for over 40 years. He put it in a Best 60 chassis, same as Cat did with the first 65 Diesel Cats built in U.S.A.

Pictured is Herb (left) on his 65 Diesel Cat at Rollag Midwest Steam Threshers Show in 1978 with a spectator getting a free ride. That Rudolph Diesel engine had been sold new as a power unit for a sawmill where it was used about 40 years ago. In 1975 Reese bought the engine and it was disassembled and in bad condition. He restored it and then installed it on an old Best chassis.

Also pictured is a carload of old machines out of Herb's bone yard. They are being shipped to George Logue.

Herb plans to have nine different old restored Cats at the Rollag Show this year. He has been a member of this show for many years. It is one of the shows having more of the largest steam and gas tractors, also largest steam stationary power plants up to 950 HP, some engines one of a kind, and very rare. It also has a full sized steam train running.

The next letter comes from CARL CUSICK, 38174 Long Crossing Road, Leetonia, Ohio 44431 and he needs some help in restoring a car, not an engine, but feels you men can help him: 'I have a small steam traction engine which I like very much taking around to help others remember old times. My friend and I are restoring this car which we need help from someone.

Can I get any information on it as follows: an 1898 Locomobile, St D serial number 1041. We need to know how to plumb and fit the boiler and burner. If I knew where to buy a book on this or someone might be able to help me, I'd appreciate it very much.

We enjoy your column very much and much of it is helpful as we also have engines.' (I am sure you will probably hear from someone, and there are some other members of the Iron Men family that work on automobiles, some on gas engines, others on marine engines, not just steam, but related to that family. Let us hear if you get answers.)

Many of you folks like to read poetry and so from time to time I can delve into the back files and come up with one. The following one tells of an old thresherman and also some philosophy. It was written by Ralph Fuller, Minneapolis, Kansas. (Ralph is now deceased, but many of you will remember him as he sent material to our magazines for many years.) Hope you enjoy his poem.


Out here in the West
in our Jayhawker State
Where wheat is king of the soil,
Where we raise oats, milo, and corn,
if it rains,
and have wells of the stuff called oil.

Oh I'm sure there are more beautiful places to live,
Than Kansas with its heat, and its cold.
But where you are born, you don't notice it much,
You endure it and gradually grow old.

I've been here some time now
As I count up the years, and some wonderful things
I have seen,
The most beautiful to me of all I have known,
Was the old steam threshing machine.

Yes that was it, in the fall of the year,
When harvest time rolled around,
We made ready our rigs, and collected our crews,
For soon the air would be filled with the sound.

First of the binders as they clicked off their sheaves
And the drivers as they yelled at their teams,
Then the Old Iron Horse, with its sweet 'chuck-a-too',
With its whistle and popping off steam.

The rumbling of wheels of the wagons we'd hear
As the crew gathered into the field.
The familiar 'toot'toot', the machine was all set,
The farmer would soon know of his yield.

But now it's all gone, it's so sad to know
The music has died out in the air.
The only place now we can hear it again,
Is at our conventions or perhaps at a fair.

Yes God has been good, and permitted a few,
Of the old steamers to be with us yet,
And I too have one, and you can wager your life,
I'll keep it forever, you bet!

One thing of importance I was about to leave out,
As I've rambled along with the deal,
Was the part the cooks played,
As they toiled with their hands to prepare us
those wonderful meals.

It's wonderful to remember my mother back there,
As she toiled for each one of us then,
She hummed as she worked, a tune of a hymn,
T'would be heaven to hear her again.

How well I remember the order she gave,
The first day of the week about eight.
'Hitch Old Fly to the buggy, my son' she would say,
For we must not be late.

So off to the services in the old school house,
That sat upon yonder space.
Where they played and they sang and they preached and they
taught, with joy ringing out of the place.

This too is about gone, it is sad to say,
Such times as we used to have there,
Of course we have churches in each town in our land,
But not many like them could compare.

We who are older sometimes stand in awe,
At the progress science has made,
We can't understand, or keep up with it all, or imagine
the cost we have paid.

Some satellites have gone to circle the earth,
To tell us all about space,
They will shoot at the moon, and men may go there,
But for me, I'll stay out of the race.

God gave us the moon to shine on us here,
And to all a great blessing has given.
Let's let it alone, and leave it to Him,
Who will explain it all up in Heaven.

Some say our big problem is our youth of today.
Teenagers getting out of control,
Drinking, and gambling, and robbing they say,
And with guns they are getting too bold.

We know it is so in some cases, of course.
As we hear of it happening quite near.
But who is to blame for such state of affair,
Not they, but their home life, I fear.

Train up a child in the way he should go
A wise man was once heard to say,
If we live right at home, so they have confidence in us,
Our children will not go astray.

Our youth are no different than we used to be, or even our
parents have been.
They'll make it all right, if we pray for them now,
And less youngsters will be found in the Pen.

I'll close with these lines
As you no doubt must be tired of reading of what I have here.
It's only the thought, from my heart today,
Of 'An Old Fashioned Steam Engineer.'

Want to try a new cookie recipe for Christmas and no baking? Here is one sent to us by Mrs. Anna Brandt, R.D. 1, Bainbridge, Pennsylvania 17502. This is called Skillet Cookies:

pound butter
1 Cup chopped dates
1 Cup sugar
2 eggs
3 Cups Rice Krispies
Cup black walnuts (chopped)

Melt butter in skillet, add beaten eggs, sugar and chopped dates. Simmer 5 to 8 minutes, cool slightly. Add Rice Krispies and nuts, mix well and divide into 2 long rolls about 2' in diameter. Place on wax paper, sprinkle with 10X sugar. Chill over night in refrigerator. Cut into slices y4' thick. They may be dipped in 10X and cut as you want to use them.

Since this is the Christmas issue, let me wish each and every one of you a beautiful Christmas Season enjoy it, enjoy your families and friends and most of all, let us not forget God's wonderful gifts to us so many times we take things so for granted.

We had a Christmas present early this yearour whole family was together for a few hours over the weekend and it was wonderful. It has been quite a long time since we all made it together at the same time. Thank you God!

And to my dear friends of Iron Men familyplease get your letters to me so we can keep Soot in the Flues going as usualletters were very scarce this issue. I'll be looking for many next time. And in closing may I leave you with a few thoughts: If you want to talk with God you

must go God's way.Choose your friends for what they are, and not by what they have.Faith makes all things possible and love makes them easy.Our true selves are usually revealed in our seemingly trivial acts.So that gives us something to work for in the coming year, doesn't it? Let's remember to do those trivial things many more times and not put them off. Bye bye love each of you.

Steamcerely yours, Anna Mae