Soot in the flues

Content Tools

Greetings to all my IMA family. When you get this magazine some of you will be at the great shows across the nation and enjoying your great hobby. Isn't it a shame though, with the wonderful hobby it is, in this fast world there aren't many more of these great monsters? None are made anymore for a long time, and won't be. It is definitely a loved hobby of the past and many of the folks are not here anymore, but the families carry on. It's great the very popular hobby of gas engines and items relevant to that brother engine is carrying on at full blast; just hope there are many more years of the two combining in these great get-togethers. Now, don't forget when you get back home after your trek across the great U.S. to sit down and write me some letters and tell me all about the great trips you have had enjoying your hobby.

'I have always been more than a little intrigued by the prospect of one of those 150 HP Case road locos showing up,' writes QUENTIN W. SHULTZ, Box 83, Griswald, Iowa 51535.

'Several years ago there was a hot rumor of a fellow seeing one in Colorado. He even took a picture of it, but the film was bad and so the picture didn't turn out. That large Case show engine in the 'house on the rock' in Wisconsin is hard to judge. The only way to investigate it would be to get permission to climb over it with a tape measure. Perhaps others have already done that.

I have been an ALBUM family member since 1953, so have quite a pile of them in the basement. I still enjoy each issue and hope it never quits. I was just a young engineer with a 50 Case back in '53, but time waits for no one. I still have my complete Case steam outfit.' (Thanks for writing, that is what keeps the ALBUM coming.)

A letter comes from one of our IMA family who has contributed many times to the column. It is from FRANK J. BURRIS, 1102 Box Canyon Road, Fallbrook, California 92028: 'Amidst the efforts of writing my autobiography (I am up to page 24, at age 6 years) and trying to master word-processing and several other pieces of 'software'. I just had to inquire whether the picture of the very youthful Anna Mae (IMA Mar/Apr '93, page 10) was that one of your daughters?'

(Now, Frank you're just teasing me! You know it says Front Row, Anna Mae, then daughters Dana and Keli. I think too it was a great picture and I'm glad we did this. Had a big get-together at Dana's house in September, 1990 and we all have enlarged copies of this as that was our last complete family picture.)

Frank continues, 'I will combine with this a few remarks concerning the nice article 'Steam Powered Automobile Under Development' by Frank Lockhart. It has been said that 'Free Advice is worth just what it cost.' The following is open criticism, of course, but it is based on engineering facts, and may be of help to anyone else who is interested in playing around with, or hopeful of developing a new form of steam-driven road vehicle.

'1. It is certainly fun to play around with this sort of toy; but one should realize that such machine can never compete with the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine driven machines because of lower efficiency, less convenience, and un-readiness.

'2. The design, as depicted, must necessarily require some form of self-starter, since it is subject to stopping dead center.

'3. From the type of cylinder head to be utilized, and the long passages to a valve control system, further losses are incurred in excessive steam clearances, for the steam upon expanding in such passages can perform no work. Abner Doble just about hit the epitome in this regard in his last developments wherein he utilized uni-flow cylinders with popper valves in his under the hood, V-type, single-acting engines (which obviated cross-heads and rod packing). This was similar to Serpollet of France way back in 1920. And it is further advancement from the Wolff compound cylinder design which incorporates too long passages from valve to cylinder. Russell had them beat on this point.

'4. Unless this two-cylinder, single-acting engine is to be utilized with a transmission (and description rather belays this) the use of flywheel is superfluous. Again, a self-starter?

'5. Some of the above disadvantages could be obviated by simply utilizing an additional steam cylinder, such that the angle between each would be 120 degrees utilizing a single crank. This was the plan of the Trask-Detroit Steam Car, developed way back in about 1924, but never placed into production. Such machine could employ a separate three-cylinder engine directly connected to each half-axle, obviating use of differential gear.

'6. Then, when all this is done, there remains the problem of the boiler, or, more properly, the evaporator. This is really the knot of the whole deal. Neutralized water supply, with suitable condenser system for necessary conservation. In a large power plant this is no problem, where pre-heaters, super-heaters, and cooling towers may be utilized; such that, by employing the much more efficient turbine engines, efficiencies may be attained to rival those of the Diesel engine (about 47%). Common steam engines, by contrast, rate some 6%. But we have much more fun with the latter! There is little fun in watching the housing of a giant turbine with its internal rotor spinning away and putting out 50,000 HP.

'7. In uni-flow cylinder design, provision must be made (if full condensing of exhaust steam is not to be employed) for relief of back-pressure on exhaust stroke (the end cylinder port is insufficient). This is usually accomplished by an auxiliary post midway up the cylinder.

'There is certainly no intention to discourage Mr. Lockhart in the above discussion. But neither let him invent the wheel twice, for he may then relent upon some of his hard work. Additionally, it is suggested that, if he can find one of the OLDER issues of the Encyclopedia Americana (or Britannica) outside a library, he may find much interesting and helpful information. My experience is based on steam locomotive shop work during WW I, followed by that of the Sweeney Auto School, factory engineering work with both steam and electrical corporations, and finally in university study and then 55 more years 'in the field'. And I am still studying my bloom in' head off trying to keep up.

'But another experimenter is always welcome in the business. Who knows what might turn up? How about a valve gear for Mr. Lockhart's engine? Just remember that in thermodynamics and reciprocating engines, the closer the combustion and expansion of the fuel is to the working cylinder, the less the transformation loses. The boiler is an extra link in this process.' (It was good to hear from you again, Frank.)

JAMES E. MALZ, 2748 State Route 7, Andover, Ohio, tells us: 'Here is a picture of a very rare steam traction engine. It is a 20th Century, a 16 HP, made in Boynton, Pennsylvania, in 1916. We purchased this engine from Art Blain, Petrolia, Pennsylvania in September, 1992.' (It is nice, James, and maybe some more folks will be stimulated to send in pictures and comments on it.)

'I have been a long time reader of IMA and its sister paper GEM,. In fact, I had an article entitled 'With Steam The Seed Was Sown' printed in IMA several years ago. (This letter comes from H. A. LEWIS, Box 55, Gray, Saskatchewan, S0G 2A0).

'Your letter in the March/April issue on page 16 from Harold Biel of Minnesota asking for information about a shock loader prompted me to recount the history of this machine. It was strictly a Canadian development, but a few of them did get into North Dakota and Montana.

'I have been a long time reader of IMA and its sister paper GEM. In 'If I was at my home in Saskatchewan I might have been able to find a picture of the machine in operation. I live in Arizona for the winter months at 10712 E. Apache Trail, Apache Junction, Arizona 85220. However, I have tried to sketch out the general principles of the machine which in the farmer's vernacular was called a stook loader.

'In 1910 the Stewart Manufacturing Company was organized in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and they engaged in production of a loader on the general principals shown in my sketch. By 1915 the limitations on a location of steel, because of the first World War, forced the factory to shut down and they went bankrupt.

'In 1917, the same group went through reorganization under the name of The Loader Company.' They obtained an allocation of steel as a war measure to release manpower for national conscription drive. With a background of experience they developed a new design with many improvements over the old Stewart Machine. The Acme Loader was produced by the hundreds and flourished until the combined problems of the depression in the Thirties and the introduction of combine harvesting. During the '20s almost every farm threshing outfit in western Canada had a loader and many of them are still standing obsolete in the backyards of farms. The original Stewart loaders were painted red with black iron parts, and the Acme loaders used yellow and black paint.

'The stooks, or shocks in U.S. terms, were placed in fairly straight lines from the binders, then stooked, and the stook loader which was pulled by four horses was driven along the line of stooks as it loaded them into a bundle rack driven beside it. A steel fingered drum on the loader rotated to pick up the whole stook and any loose bundles in the row, elevate them on a raddle to a cross raddle which elevated them and dropped them in a special wagon and rack which was built with a high right side to prevent bundles being cast over the side. When loaded, the rack, with its own teamster and team of horses, was driven to the threshing machine. An Acme Loader and four rack teams could keep a good 28' or 32' threshing machine busy.'

The following communication is from KARL SORENSEN, 989 Pond View Ct., Vadnais Heights, Minnesota 55127, and refers to an article with sketches that was in the March/April IMA 1993, pages 22 & 23. (Also on this letter was this name: MAHLON SORENSEN, Box 11193, Arkola Road 1817, Meadowlands, Minnesota 55765.)

'It would be nice to see steam-powered cars come back, but I think the future is in electric cars.

'My dad said if Frank Lockhart has any engineering ability, he would know that heavy wall seamless steel pipe and pipe caps would not hold steam pressure for 55, let alone 100 HP.

'Also, all engines have to have cast iron or cast steel for pressures such as in steam or internal combustion engines. Aluminum is used in lawn mower engines and small autos such as VW etc., but they have cast steel liners and the cylinder head on small autos, because they are easily warped if they become overheated; that is why we watch the coolant level.

'The price seems fictitious. He says nothing about an experimental engine and patent applied for same.

'There is no control shown on how to stop the steam from entering the engineon the return stroke after the power stroke. On the Case steam engine, on top of the cylinder, there is a slide valve that lets steam in when the piston is at the top for power stroke and stops when the piston returns.

'Mr. Lockhart might be talking about steam turbine engines. But it takes too much room and weight to convert oil or coal or wood to steam.''

HOWARD H. MURCHIE, Box 476, Jamestown, North Dakota 58402 sends this:

'If anyone can straighten me out, it will be appreciated. In 1938, moved two buildings in Center area about twenty five miles northwest of Bismarck Mandan, North Dakota, with just the Mississippi River between the two.

'There were, as I saw in a newspaper, the largest locomotives made there. They were on the Northern Pacific, running from Mandan to Glendine, Montana. I was told there were five of them, was near the railroad a time or two when they went through. The exhaust could be heard quite a long way and it sounded like rifle shots.

'In later years, I made the acquaintance of Hank Gibins, who said he was an engineer on one of the locomotives. Hank never got tired of talking of steam and how it was superior to the diesels. Last time I wrote to Hank at Lily, South Dakota, I had a letter from his wife that Hank had died while playing cards.

'Don't know the exact date, but read that somewhere down in the states a man or a company had the largest locomotive built. Do not know the man's name or address. I was told that when the diesel took over, the locomotives were sold to Russia.

'In the '50s, I was at Vermillion Bay, Ontario. One foggy morning two freight trains met head-on. I will never know the reason for one train not taking a siding. It was thought that due to heavy fog the engineers hadn't seen the signal. Following Sunday, went to see the wreck. It was possibly ten miles north of the trans-Canadian Highway near Quebec, I think on the Canadian Railway. They still had quite a crew of men working. The steamer was on the track, apparently not too badly damaged. They were picking the diesel up in pieces with a clam. Hank would have liked to see that steamer!'

We are welcoming a newcomer to the IMA family as NICK KUZ, P.O. Box 29, Hadashville, Manitoba, Canada ROE 0X0 writes to us and states: 'I'm 64 years of age and I'm looking forward to being involved with steam engines. However, my whole life I ran a sawmill powered with diesel and later electricity, but now I'll be taking retirement. So, I'm looking forward to purchasing a stationary Utica steamer or similar, or get to know people who can build them at my machine shop. When I was eight years old, I'd walk two miles to the track and spur; there the train locomotive steamer would switch the cars around. I was so impressed watching the steamer going back and forward, at 40 below zero for two hours, with not even being cold watching.

'I will try to correspond with more people through IMA magazine. I really enjoy reading this magazine and having steam power as my interest. I thank all you nice people and let's keep Steam Alive!' (And we're glad you are joining with us, Nickfrom what you write, I believe you belong to our clan).

'I am sending two pictures of a steam engine that was donated to our association this year. I hope some of your readers can shed some light on just what we have here.' (And I'll bet you can get some replies.) Write to BILL THURMAN, R. R. 1, Box 226, Archie, Missouri 64725, or call 816-293-5503.

'This engine was shipped to our area in the early 1880s. As far as we know, it is an 8-12 HP Nichols & Shepard. We were told by the family who bought the engine new (their great grandparents) this was at one time a portable, but a kit was bought to convert it into a tractor.

The smoke box is a separate piece from the barrel and was hand-riveted to the barrel so it could have a heavier front axle put on it. The rear wheels are somewhat like Case wheels as the spokes are screwed into the hub with nuts to hold them. It has a band or tire bolted onto the outside of the wheel with the gouters cast in it. The front wheels have the spokes cast in them and only one wheel has a skid ring on it. The spokes of both wheels are straight across and do not alternate like most of the other engines.

'We have some parts, but need an engine for it as it was taken off in the '30s. Any information or leads on parts would be greatly appreciated. The boiler is in excellent condition. We want to restore this engine as it was the first tractor of any type to come to this part of Missouri. Thank you very much and God bless!' (So get your pens and paper and help your buddy with his interest.)

'I still enjoy Soot in the Flues and IMA in general. I keep a paper in my wallet and as I think of subjects that I would like to know more about, I jot it down and include it in my letter to Soot in the Flues,' writes JOE B. DILL, Route 1, Box 26, Las cassas, Tennessee 37085.

'First, what is a ground hog thresher? I remember Pop mentioning it, and others. One person mentioned ground hog thresher lately. But I never asked more about how that type thresher worked when Pop mentioned it.

'I don't know where I read about it, but what is a duck bill F-30 Far-mall? I never heard of it around here, but I understand there is one named as I said.

'Now, this is a good one! Back when I was in high school, maybe before, 1936-40, IH sent us an ad magazine named Tractor Farming, and I remember it as a very interesting magazine about F-20s, 30s and all the IH line of implements and crawlers. I have asked several IHC men and nobody remembers this magazine. Has anyone out in Engine Land any memory of it? Was I the only one getting it?

'I will tell now about my early days and the stories told me and things I saw, steam engines and early tractors. The only steam engines I saw were on road graders up until WWII; Cats replaced them after the war. No steam engines on farms by 1928 other than powering threshers.

'My earliest memory of a tractor was probably about 1927. This tractor was moving a thresher to a grain field. The tractor was very colorful, maybe an 8-16 IH that had been painted. I know it had an odd appearance. It could have been a cross motor tractor.

'The threshing place was a distance from the barn and I followed to see the outfit at work. Once it was threshing, I remember distinctly that it was a hand fed type; one man in center feeding into the cylinder and one on each side cutting binds. The grain came out at the bottom into a box, probably Vi bushel, and while one box was being filled the other box was being emptied in a sack. There was a lot of dust, and two men were building a well-shaped stack to be fed in winter to the cows. Our farm was a cow-calf operation and lots of sheep and no tractors in regular farm operation. This was on the home place.

'The next threshing scene I remember was on a farm that Pop bought and sold later. The rig was a 28' IHC thresher powered by a 15-30 IHC tractor, and the thresher had all the improvements of later IHC threshers. The big 15-30 rig did our threshing for years and this owner also had a sawmill. Mr. Jim Vance was a very successful operator and moved the mill to our old place to saw out a new barn in 1931. I was nine years old and remember the carpenter's hand saw and that was a big one with an extra handle sticking up on top. It had teeth same as a crosscut. I never saw another one like it until a few years ago. My aunts bought a toy saw (good one) and a hammer after the barn was built and gave it to me and I built all sorts of toy barns.

'All through these threshing years I remember all the big dinners and the fun. Mr. Vance, who was getting along in years, retired and just threshed near his home, I remember the religious thing in those days. The congregation where he worshipped would have their annual weekly meeting after all his threshing runs were over. He didn't miss a service.

'His machinery was always in perfect condition and he never worked on it after starting the thresher or sawmill. One day he was resting under a shade tree after lunch (dinner it was called in those days); and he evidently noticed my brother, age five and very inquisitive, and he decided to have some fun with him. Mr. Vance complained that his teeth were hurting which got my brother Thomas' attention. Mr. Vance had false teeth and I was already familiar with the false teeth thing, but Thomas wasn't. Mr. Vance said, 'I'm going to pull them out!' Suddenly he pulled his false teeth out and Thomas was amazed! Mr. Vance got a big laugh out of that and Thomas learned a lot.

'Next scene was near Murfreesboro in a 20 acre field of wheat that was real good and shocks were thick. It was my cousin Jim's wheat and his threshing rig was a finely tuned 15-30IH and a 28' thresher. Cousin Jim was a genius with machinery (electrical and all) and he also didn't stop after he started. A Farmall regular and a truck and maybe an F-20 with a wagon hauled shocks to the thresher. There were no mules now hauling bundles. We were getting modern and the year was 1936.1 was driving the Farmall regular and throwing bundles in the thresher.

'Cousin Jim, after the 15-30 was warmed up from the load, would set the water attachment. He would spend five minutes adjusting the water to the engine and when completed the small amount of steam coming from the radiator cap had disappeared. The exhaust had a sweet smell and was keen. When we would bundle, pitchers would accidentally pile a bundle or two (too much) on the feeder. That 15-30 had power to spare and the 28' IHC thresher was doing a fine job of separating and cleaning the grain. We had all the sacked grain loaded and ready for the grain house before sundownwhat a day!!

'My next outstanding experience was with a sawmill in the winter of 1937 with our 22-36 IH furnishing power. I was about 14 and would rush home from school to help with the sawmill and all day on Saturdays. I watched everything the operator was doing while running the sawmill. One Saturday the operator was sick and that was my chance to run the mill and I applied for the job and as usual Pop said, 'Get at it!' I sawed 2500 ft. of lumber that day. We, in one winter, had sawed lumber for two 40 x 50 barns and two sheds plus custom sawing. That ended our sawing and Pop sold the mill.

'The threshing thing was closing out. Farmers were buying small five and six foot combines and custom operators were doing the grain harvesting. My cousin, Thomas Dill, had a new 12-A John Deere in 1939 to harvest lespedeza (which was new here in early and mid '30s), and Thomas, cousin Jim's son, combined lespedeza until Christmas every fall and did real good. Cousin Thomas and Jim didn't leave any grain in the stack and Thomas's 12-A didn't leave any lespedeza or clover in the field. Both were applying high technology as it is called nowadays to operating and setting their harvesting machinery and it did a good job.

'Thomas was small in stature and was very energetic and was in charge of operating his pop's 22' IH thresher and 15-30 IH; that was when he was a freshman in high school.

'I enjoy Mr. Vinson Gritten's articles in Soot in the Flues, as his experiences as a kid and young man remind me of these cousins of mine.

'I see Thomas often (he is five years older than I am) and he tells of his experiences with running machinery when he was a kid. An outstanding experience was when he was 14 and taking a rock crusher to a crushing job and pulling the crusher with a one cylinder big Rumely tractor. He ran out of gas in the middle of a main street in Murfreesboro. Plus he had not learned of the compression relief valve on the Rumely and he and Ed, his helper, couldn't turn the flywheel and start the Rumely. After many attempts and a one hour wait in the street, he located his dad and asked him about where the compression relief valve was, and then the Rumely started the first turn of the flywheel.

'A number of unusual things happen in threshing. Our thresherman's very capable helper, Will Jacoway, was going to a threshing job pulling a 22' IH thresher with a Farmall M tractor. He pulled the rig into a narrow crooked lane thinking the lane led to the threshing site. After going a quarter mile and beginning to doubt if this was the right lane, Will investigated and found that this wasn't the right lane and there was no place to turn around and go back out. The story went that Will backed the rig all the way back to the highway without stopping to pull forward to realign the thresher for the journey backward to the highway. This was about 1940 and it was the last, or among the last, of the years of threshing.

'After WW II there were few threshing rigs in operation. All the threshers were in the shed and the small combines were doing the harvesting.

'I owned a W-30 IH at first and later sold it and bought a Deere B for row crops along with our cow and sheep operation.

'I grew com and in 1951 I purchased a 12-A, rebuilt it and started custom combining. I harvested a 10 acre field of crimson clover the first day of operating with the 12-A and made 11 bushels per acre of clean seed! I never did that good again, nor did I ever see another field of crimson clover that good since. Crimson clover is hard to thresh. A shower will knock the seed from heads and, all in all, it is a difficult crop to harvest. Generally, however, we are satisfied if we get three to five bushels per acre as crimson clover is an excellent pasture crop and a soil builder.

'I'll have to include some steam engine threshing and sawmill stories told me about a local rig owned by Rural Young and operated by a black fellow in our community before my day. Monroe 'Mun' McHenry did all the operating for Mr. Young. The engine was a Peerless. When in a hurry to get through threshing, Mun would stack the wood (short small sticks) on the platform by the firebox door. He was a keen operator and would close the firebox door between each stick of wood thrown into the firebox. This was conserving heat and avoiding sudden changes in temperature of steel around the firebox. Mun bought the rig when the Young family went into the lumber business in Murfreesboro about 1922 and stayed in that business until early 1950s.

'I am not a good writer and occasionally leave out a line or two as: Will Jacoway, a black friend, is still living but in bad health. He operated the late Jesse King threshing rig and he stops by for a chat occasionally. He told me that he did back the Farmall M and the 22' thresher out of the lane to the highway, but people, amazed at his ability, added a lot to it in fun. He did have to pull the rig up some to correct the backward movement of the thresher. Will started working for Mr. King when he was 12 years old and continued to the early 1950s. Also, Mun's family, outstanding people, worked off and on for Pop; one of Mun's brothers started work here at age 13 and continued, leaving at age 30 going to a Post Office job in Nashville, the only two jobs he ever had!

'Mun's brother's son, Raymond McHenry, came to work here in 1937 when he was 28. He bought one of Pop's places in 1962. He still owns and lives there, enjoying retirement. Raymond often tells how Mr. Dill told him to get some calves when he had been here a few years and if he didn't get calves, as we had plenty of hay and pasture, that he would be scratching a poor man's head all his life! Raymond has had cattle all the time since and is also a success story of years gone by!

'A bit more that I left out our Dill cousins, Jim and his son, Thomas, were outstanding mechanical people. Cousin Jim, as an eleven year old, built a working model steam engine to power their family's coffee grinder. As he related how it was made to me, he says the cylinder was made out of a hand tire pump and was cast into an aluminum frame that he cast. Later, at age 13, he made a head gasket for a one cylinder diesel engine that worked after other repairmen had failed. Their gasket was too thick.

'At age 16, he made a wooden frame hay baler, with a one cylinder gas engine as power. Also, it pulled ground wheels that moved it from hay shock to hay shock and farm to farm! With help from his school buddies, he made $1600 the first summer that they operated it.

'I visited him often and he would tell of all the fun of his good old days and he really enjoyed talking. I failed to think of taking my drawing pad, ruler and pencil and draw those machines with him directing the art work, as drawing would have been valuable. I could almost draw the machines from memory and may do it later. He was 90 and would talk farming and mechanics as if he was going to go at it the next day.

'Another tale to remember! Pop's friend, a bird-hunting buddy and a neighbor, Jess Williams, were operating a steam engine and threshing rig at Rural Young's folks. With the help of his many sons, he also broke mules.

'Mr. Jess' threshing was stopped by a shower and all were in the farmer's shop where he shod horses and mules and were waiting for the wheat to dry so as to thresh properly. The senior farmer heard one of his eight sons say a cuss word. He inquired as to who said it and all the boys, ages 13 to 22, said they were innocent. The senior decided that the only way to give the guilty one his whippin' was to whip all of them. He pushed the shop door closed and told Mr. Jess to hold the door shut, which he did.

'The senior had trouble catching some of his sons, but after their whippings, a cloud of dust was coming out around the door and from cracks in the board shop. The senior was having to catch them and that brought in the dust thing.

'When all were punished for the cuss word, the senior exclaimed that that was one way of getting the job done. When the dust settled the senior found that he had lost his hat! He, Mr. Jess and the eight sons hunted for the hat in the dusty shop, but the hat wasn't found!

'I will look forward to Iron Men Album and Soot in the Flues, in particular. I enjoyed Mr. Gritten's letter where he was a kid and was operating some machinery, but was hesitating as there was something ahead that he didn't think he could do his dad had stepped up on the tractor and his confidence was perfected and he made the drive easily. That is the perfect parable to our life with Christ as our guide. He is with us all the time! Mr. Gritten write another letter! I enjoy them, as well as all the letters!'

ARLA J. LAGE, Box 64, Canby, Minnesota 56220 writes us and gives us the address of William Sievert (Bill), 201 7th Street W., Canby, Minnesota 56220 and remarks, 'Bill Sievert was featured in one of your magazines about a year ago, as Oil Pull Bill. Bill has been in very poor health this last year, but is recovering from surgery and from the loss of his only child, Catherine Sievert Beams. Bill turned 98 on February 19, 1993. I was wondering if we could ask for a card shower for him through your magazine. Bill would enjoy hearing from anyone interested in tractors, etc. A greeting card or letter of any type would be very welcome. You see, I am Bill's step-daughter. I am thanking you in advance.' (Here's hoping many of you will drop Bill a card, I'm sure it would brighten up his days.)

Now, I have a few choice writings to leave you with. Think on this:

'Consider the hammer. It keeps its head. It doesn't fly off the handle. It keeps pounding away. It finds the point and then drives it home. It looks at the other side too, and thus often clinches the matter. It makes mistakes, but when it does, it starts all over. It is the only knocker in the world that does any good.'

Need I say more? We can all take a look at ourselves.

It is not what we EAT but what we DIGEST that makes us strong. Not what we GAIN but what we SAVE that makes us RICH. Not what we READ but what we REMEMBER that makes us LEARNED. Not what we PROFESS but what we PRACTICE that makes us CHRISTIANS. Keep your fears for yourself, but share your courage with others. Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies beyond the will of God.

That's it for this time, my dear IMA family, but I might plead with you to get the letters to me. The pile is very slim right now. I have a little, but I need more NOW. Love you all!