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This prayer recently came to my attention and I thought it most appropriate to open the column with this being an election year. Not only that, our government and leaders of same need our prayers at all times

A Prayer For America's Leaders

Almighty God, I believe that in Your wisdom You have a plan for our troubled nation and torn world. Help me put aside selfish interest and become a more responsible citizen. Give to the President and all our national leaders Your directions for the nation. Give them eagerness to listen to Your wisdom. Give them the ability to do right, as You give them grace to know what is right. Give them courage to be humble, wisdom to be efficient, stamina and patience to pursue peace at home and abroad in spite of every obstacle. In the name of Our Lord. Amen.

This is usually a big issue what with the shows and ads, therefore I will go directly into the few communications we have and may I wish you all well at the reunions, which all of you enjoy. Each year I'm sure you find out something you didn't know and therefore as you gain in knowledge and share with your fellow enthusiasts, it makes for great fun and adventure while learning.

'I'm writing this time to make a comment about the Pawnee, Oklahoma show,' writes DANNY E. BLACK, Route 1, Box 16, Seneca, Missouri 64865. 'A lot has been written about it and the superb demonstrations. Of course, the biggest pleaser had to be the Case incline, for what could be better than one Case on the incline, but of course, two has got to be better. So Chady Atteberry, Tom Terning, and Helen Case Brigham pleased their crowd. But the real heart stopper, for me, came later.

Everyone has heard about Chady Atteberry's 40 HP 'Elgin Watch' Case. Well, nobody knew about his 65 HP Case, until he pulled it up to Amos Rixman's Prony Brake late one evening at last year's show.

'I would have given anything if this had been video taped. People, I know, are going to doubt me. There were lots of witnesses but few in the crowd realized the awesomeness of it!

'Chady backed that beautiful 65HP Case into the belt of Amos' Prony Brake. He pulled fiddle string tight. I thought to myself at the time that maybe he might have it a little too tight.

'Anyway, they proceeded on with the demonstration. Amos would put on a little load, then he would check with Chady to see if he was ready to go a little more, plus, each time Amos would give Chady a bit of time to make adjustments or throw some more coal in if he wanted to. But, each time Chady elected not to do anything. He was watching his steam gauge and checked the water glass a couple of times. But he gave the old girl her head and she just kept working harder. Well, the horsepower didn't stop until she reached 120HP. But the old girl wasn't through showing off. She started lifting her safety. So Chady gave her a drink of water. But she still lifted her safety and all this time pulling over 120HP. Amos was grinning and shaking his head, and saying, 'What a tractor! What an engineer! That Chady really knows how to build a fire!' Chady was still on the tractor with a serious grin on his face. He finally climbed down and walked around to the side where he could really hear the stack talking very nicely. Then the serious grin turned into a full ear to ear grin.

'That belt that I mentioned that I thought might be too tight, well at 120HP load, that belt started to slip.'

FRANK BURRIS, 1102 Box Canyon Road, Fallbrook, California 92028 is a name you are all familiar with and he sends us another one of his interesting letters and comments: 'After seeing the cover on the May/ June IMA, and then reading the wonderfully descriptive relative article on page 12 of this absolutely remarkable and most highly praiseworthy model of the Idle fire engine, as beautifully crafted by its most patient and skillful master, James Lockhart, I simply had to take time off my 85-year-old 30-hour day to humbly express my most astounded admiration.

'The superlative merit in this work arises not only from the finished wonder, but from the fact that every item of its constitution arose from only the cast-off bits and pieces from various junk piles! It is one thing to turn out a precisely accurate model of engineering elegance from a kit of castings and related components made on production machines; but to be expert enough to fashion all the necessary molds, make the castings, and then form all the intricacies from various pieces of scrap metal and fabric, wood, etc., really separates the men from the boys; the Gods from the Plebeians, so to speak.

'I believe that all mechanically inclined persons admire creations from the model world. Therefore, for those of you who may find it more difficult to express your appreciation for the efforts of the likes of Mr. Lockart, I am going to presume that I speak for you also. A bit of praise where it is so richly deserved, may help inspire others to put forth that utmost bit of energy and steady concentration which is so essential in the creation and production of such splendid works. Carry on, James, and let your crowning jewel be added to those of others which have earned a seat in the display museums throughout our country.' (Ah, and you say it so well FrankAnna Mae).

ELWOOD G. MATEER, JR., 7324 Three Chopt Road, Richmond, Virginia 23226-3753 sent us a clipping from the newspaper of Richmond, Times Dispatch, Saturday April 2, 1988 regarding 'Hay bale, grain silo among risks to farmer's respiratory system.' It points out all the risks and trouble that can come from the farmers jobs. If you are more interested, perhaps Ellwood could inform you more.

Following are some pictures with captions from the late HASTON L. ST. CLAIR, R.R.#1, Box 140-A, Holden, Missouri 64040:

#1) This is a picture of Les Wager's 18HP Woods Brothers engine and Case separator on the way to the threshing show at Herman Watson's farm. I don't remember the name of the young man on the engine, but I ran Les's engine at the show.

#2) Morris Hamlin is standing by the engine he built. In March of 1983 he asked my help in building an engine. We started gathering material for the boiler, the wheels and other things to put the boiler on wheels.

While doing this we had asked the foundry to make castings for the engine. Now Morris, being a skilled machinist and an excellent welder, had the engine running in six months. His cousin in Idaho liked the model so well Morris built one for him.

#3) A scene in my shop. My dog, Honey, and I are sitting on my half-size. There are five engines visible in the picture.

#4) Threshing at the St. Clair farm July 17, 1966. Elmer Krause pitching to the machine.

ELLSWORTH THORENE, 13277 McKusick Road, Stillwater, Minnesota 55082 says he had been seeing an ad in the Iron Men Album advertising the Tennessee-Kentucky Thresherman's Association Show at Adams, Tennessee. 'Always in the ad they use the slogan 'Adams home of Bell Witch'. I'd really like to know who is Bell Witch? Having seen this for so long, I am really curious.'

(I'm sure if he is curious there may be many with the same thought how about someone writing us and explaining the name and we'll put it in the next column.)

'I wish to let you know how much I enjoy I.M.A. and have been taking it for many years,' writes WILLIAM HOOKS, Apt. 203, 2537 Lakeshore Blvd. W. Toronto, Ont. Canada M8V 1E8.

'I like all traction engines, both English and USA. I love to read about all old farm machinery. I remember a mower and binder by Walter H. Wood. I would like to know in what city or state they were made. Any information would be greatly appreciated.' (Again if you want to write William Hooksfine, but do send us an answer and I'll enter it in the column so all can see it! I'm sure there are many who do not know all the answers yet.)

A picture and letter comes from JOHN W. ROPER, 217 Burr Oak, Morton, Illinois, 61550: 'I have been receiving IMA for only 11/2 years but really enjoy it. I've been interested in steam power for sometime, though.

'I'll probably never own my own engine, but I do have a small float which I have made since last fall.' (See picture)

My wife and I are going to Kinzers, PA., for the steam show in August this year. Also we are going to the Pennsylvania Christian Motor Cyclist Association Rally the same week. We are bikers, too.

I am wondering if there is anyone in the immediate Morton, Illinois area who has a steam tractor. I am interested in learning more about steam power.

'Keep up the good work and God Bless!' (Thank you John and Carolthe same to both of you. I feel you will get some answers).

I am not a steam fan but I purchased an old magazine at the Tapioca, Indiana Draft Horse Sale not too long ago. I raise and show Registered Percherons.

I did fire the stationary boiler for the heating plant at the Ann Arbor Railroad in Owasso, Michigan for about seven or eight winters from 1954 to the mid-60's. We used two carloads of coal per week in cold weather. Then they changed to automatic gas heaters in each building. I did enjoy the work though.

I belong to the Mid-Michigan Old Tractor Club and enjoy it, but I am not an active member. I would rather work with the horses and don't have time for both.

Our farm tractors are old though, from 1952 to 1967. Nothing new but still in business. The boys and I have eight: 4 Olivers, 3 Internationals and 1 Ford.

One of my sons works my farm, but I still work the same as usual. I am retired from the railroad. My choice is still the Oliver.

'Our tractor show is the 2nd weekend in August. They have steam engines there too. They threshed with steam on a farm until 1930, using a Port Huron. Then we threshed, bought a new Huber tractor and we threshed until 1946. Dad and I bought our first combine in 1946. I would like to attend some of your steam engine shows and intend to do so sometime.'

This letter came from CLARK J. RILEY, 4545 E. Riley Road, Owasso, Michigan 48867. Clark continues: 'I live on a Centennial farm. They named the road after my great-grandparents. They came from Ireland in the mid 1800'sPatrick and Bridget Riley.'

BOB ROMPORTL, Route 1, Box 1214, Spooner, Wisconsin 54801 is in the process of restoring a 1903, 20HP Northwest New Giant traction engine and could use a little help. First off, he would like to know the original colors of this engine.

He would like to hear from other owners of engines made by the Northwestern Thresher Company of Stillwater, Minnesota. Engines made by this company were: Minnesota Giant, Stillwater, St. Croix, The New Giant and the Northwest.

I think it is time for another parable from Wellsprings of Wisdom. These stories always make us think on them more than just read them they all have a lesson. This one is called


One night three horsemen were riding across the desert. When they came to the dry bed of a river, a voice came out of the darkness and said, 'Halt!'

The men obeyed the command of the hidden voice. The voice then said, 'You have done as I commanded. Now get off your horses, pick up a handful of pebbles, put the pebbles into your pockets, remount your horses and continue on your journey.' Then the voice added, 'Since you have done as I commanded, tomorrow at sun-up you will be both glad and sorry that you obeyed me.'

Mystified, the three horsemen rode on through the night. When the sun arose the horsemen reached into their pockets and found that a miracle had happened. The pebbles in their pockets had been transformed into magnificent diamonds, rubies and other precious stones. They remembered the warning, that they would be both glad and sorry; glad that they had taken some pebbles, sorry that they had not taken more.

A great lesson for all of us, wouldn't you say and especially those just getting to the intense learning of their time.

And in closing I always like to leave you with some more words to chew on and digest It is unreasonable to expect a child to listen to your advice and ignore your example If you want to be miserable, HATE somebody Don't speak unless you can improve on the silence! Worry comes through human interference with the divine plan