SOOT IN THE FLUES

Soot In The Flues

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Sept-Oct issue and another year beginning for the Iron-Men Album as we go to Volume 27. I know you folks are having a great time touring the Reunions as it is right at the peak of Show Time. As soon as your shows are over, get your reports to us and we'll get the information in the magazines the sooner the better.

From time to time, I like to share some of our family events with you friends and we had a memorable occasion recently when our children hosted a Surprise Wedding Anniversary party for us. We celebrated our 30th one June 12we thought we were going out to dinner with some friends and we ended up at the Garden Seat Tea Room in Perdix. It was really great! We had an inkling something was going on before the date, but we didn't know who, where, when (that's as bad as not knowing anything). Well, this was Saturday, June 10 and we walked right into the surprise because we did think we were going out with our good friends Janet and Ken Mundis, as we do from time to time. I think the most surprising part was to walk in and see our family there that we had just left about an hour before they had eaten their meal (as daughter, Keli, age 15 and watching calories informed us' I guess you realize I had to eat two suppers!') Then she and Donnie, our 18 year old had put on an act of bickering with each other to see who would be the official baby-sitter for our young 7 year old Tommie while we would be gone. This happens sometimes but that night it was a staged argument well done and they knew about the event for days and kept the secret very well. They had to rush around after we left and get ready to get there before we arrived.

I received a beautiful corsage and Father a boutonniere. with daughter Dana, doing the honors, while her hubby, Bob, took pictures and son Ryan watched.

Joining in the surprise was our son Eddie and wife Kathi and their two children Stacy and Lanceit was such a joyous time to have our whole family together, as they live quite a distance away and what with the demands of daily living, circumstances prevent all of us getting together as often as we would like.

In number, there were 32 people at the celebration. We had delicious eats, many moments of happiness with all these loved folks (Earlene Ritzman included) and beautiful gifts to open (with the help of our three grandchildren and youngest son, Tom).

When Ed and I were married 30 years ago, the war had just then been going on for six months, and there were gas rations, and we had started early in the morning for Virginia and I remember we had to wait at a gas station about 1/2 an hour, until 7 in the morning as they were not allowed to sell gas before that time. We then went on to Winchester, took our tests, got the license, were married and came back home no 'big' thing, no gifts, no honeymoon etc. just a 'big' event in our lives and happy we were to become Mr. and Mrs.

This party then was a culmination point in our lives celebrating our marriage with loved ones, and looking back over these years, all I can say is they have been Blessed in many ways God has lent us five children (for they are His first you know) given us many wonderful friends and gifts of life. Yes, this night was a highlight in our lives and long to be remembered in our book of memories.

Now onto our letters of magazine interest that come our way

JOHN P. KADINGER, Box 202, Hartford, South Dakota 57033 is looking for some information and I'm not much help, so we'll see if you fellow readers might be able to assist him. Writes John'I am looking for a small cut of a steam engine. Also, I would like a cut of Case 150 14-14 engine. Size of this cut is 1 1/4 inch by 2 1/4 inch. I would appreciate the name and address of a company that has these cuts for sale.'

DOUGLAS M. BROWN, 711 N. Paulina Avenue, Redondo Beach, California 90277 asks: 'Does anyone know of any PRR locomotive whistles or hardware from steamers in your area?' which of course means here in the Eastern area. (Any help anyone?)

DONALD MCVITTIE, Box 508, Alliston, Ontario, Canada is trying to get enough information together to write a story of Massey-Harris gas engines and needs more help and therefore is appealing to Readers of Iron-Men Album also. He says if any of you men have worked in a gas engine plant in Toronto, or have knowledge of same, please contact him.

Had a nice letter from T. C. HUNTER, 569 West North Street, Galesburg, Illinois 61401 on the steam reunions. Thought we'd pass it along to you folks. 'I have visited 35 shows in the United States and Canada in the past 17 years. I hope to attend several different shows this year. No doubt some of your readers can top that. It would be interesting to read of the visits of others.

Mount Pleasant is the largest show I have seen. I have attended most of their shows as I live only 70 miles away.

Saskatoon is the most distant and they have the oddest machine, a wobble-gear mower. Also many big machines and tractors are there.

Kinzers has the most and largest gasoline engines. Some are over 100 HP and one has three cylinders. There are many fine models there also.

Pontiac and Highland, Illinois and Rushville, Indiana have the prettiest show grounds.

The largest steam tractor I have seen is at Cedar Falls. It is a Reeves double compound 140 HP.

The oldest steam engine I have seen is a Case and is 101 years old. It is valued at $100,000 according to the public address announcer at the show.

Many young people are becoming interested in collecting, restoring and exhibiting old engines and other machines in various parts of the country and I enjoy the models that they bring to the shows.

I exhibited at several shows a few years ago. It is very interesting, but tiresome.

Last winter I built a 'do-nothing' machine and may exhibit same at some of the nearest shows. Also have some old tools, old toys, models and toy steam engines.'

Thanks Ted for your opinion of some of the various shows. How about sending us a picture of a 'do-nothing' machine?

Every now and then we get a letter and someone wants to know of a company that makes steam engines-well, there is a company called Jensen Manufacturing Company, Jeannette,; Pennsylvania 15644 that makes toy steam engines, power plants and accessories. If you write the company and ask them, they will send you the information on their products. This information comes from MILES LUSK, Route 3, Butler, Pennsylvania 16001. (I'm sure the readers will appreciate this, Miles).

R. F. SOMERVILLE, 12498 232 S., Maple Ridge, Haney, B. C, Canada would like a catalog of 10-20 Titan tractors as he lost his some time ago and can't seem to locate another one.

If you know where Mr. Somerville can locate one of these, please let him know.

FRED H. EBERHARD, Route 3, Box 825, Easton, Maryland 21601 would like to know the address of any 'scale boiler builders'. (There you are my friends, some new business for you if you build scale boilers may be the above mentioned Jensen company could help!)

ED CROLEY, 815 East 22nd Ave., North Kansas City, Missouri 64116 is interested in learning the names of the original subscribers of the Iron-Men Album, then known as the Farm Album. This was first started in 1946. How about any of these men drop us a line if you've been getting the ALBUM from the first issue. (Thanks!)

That about winds up the column except to say, I'm sure you folks all realize the great flood disaster the East has just come through it has really been something. We in this area were affected with flooded cellars, were without water, work stopped and each little area around here was isolated for awhile. Helicopters were a daily sight for many days as they brought in needed supplies to the different towns. We really did not suffer though as some of our neighbors the sight is appalling, the devastation is heart-breaking it will take months to climb up out of the muck and mire.

For the light side of it, I can say it was exciting to watch a toilet flush again and then I think of those who have nothing left and my heart aches please remember these folks in any way possible and especially with prayer for courage to go on. It's times like these I think we are shown how very small we are in this universe and I wonder if these things are allowed to happen so we can reconsider our lives and perhaps 'change our ways' and put less on material things and more on 'winning souls' as the Bible tells us to do. When tragedy as this one occurs, people pitch in and help each other all discriminations are forgotten for a little while and then-Forgive us Lord, I'm sure we don't realize some of the things we do sometimes in the name of Christianity.

Bye bye Folks love you all have fun with our mutual hobby and God Bless.