THE LADIES PAGE

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R. D. 2, Brandon, Wisconsin

CONDUCTED BY AUNT LENE

Mrs. Alfred E. Baber, R. D 2, Brandon, Wisconsin, is our lady doing the Ladies Page this issue. First we have a letter and then the poem she has composed. We think it very clever AUNT LENE

Dear Steam Engine Enthusiasts,

What is there about a steam engine that just gets into your blood and never seems to leave? I have known ever since I married my husband 25 years ago that someday I would have to share him with a steam engine and finally last year it happened. I must say, I rather enjoy the company. There are such clear memories of threshing days when we were both farm children that we find our Case 65 almost a companion. Our six children all share our enthusiasm. Holidays have become steam engine days at our house. The Physics teacher from the local high school brought his whole class out here this spring to give them a lesson in steam propulsion and they were every bit as interested as we ever were as children.

Enclosed is a poem I have written based on an episode I shall never forget as long as I live. I have laughed about it many times since but that particular day I was far from happy. It was in the days of stack threshing and school was already in session before the threshing was finished in those days.

We are looking forward to the next edition of THE IRON-MEN ALBUM. They are very interesting.

ILLUSION

'Twas suppertime, some forty summers past,
One evening when the shadows fell at last
A whistle blew; my heart still knows the thrill
Of threshing day upon a neighboring hill.
Pig-tailed, upon the porch's rail sat I,
Expectancy in each impatient sigh.
How could I wait, so clear the whistle told
Of nieghbor's bins all brimming with pure gold?
Our grain was next, and when the men were fed
The belts undone, of steam an ample head,
The mighty wheels would turn, black smoke would soar,
And steam would sizzle near my own front door.
Each moment dragged! What joy! At last I heard!
The engine spoke an eager belching word!
The mighty piston, throbbing like a flood
Set joy bells ringing in my singing blood.
The sisters, much more dignified and grown,
And Mother dear, had problems all their own
Four men for breakfast, where to sleep them all;
My portion fell, the cot, out in the hall.
But sleep had flown from joyful, wriggling me,
The threshing rig approached SHEER ECSTACY,
The crew as black as coal, well powdered down
With chaff and dust, yet heroes renown.
Who else could spin those wheels and make to run
An engine such as this from sun to sun?
Next day was school Ah me, such misery;
Just one big shining promise could I see
Left over, there would be some luscious pie.
The prospect made my homebound pigtails fly.
The job was done, but I was in a fix
For one lone thresherman will eat like six,
My supermen of steam were but a fake
They'd left me one sad, measly piece of cake.