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814 Wendt Street Danville, Illinois

(This is a true story and you can guess who it is about. -- Elmer)

In a small mid western town, in Indiana lived a small boy with a big dream. As most small boys he was a big, big dreamer. Dreaming of the days when he would grow up and be a big man. This little fellow had a very special dream. We shall call this boy Wes.

Wes lived with his Grandparents in a nice two-story house in a small farming town. Wes had some Uncles still living at home too. The uncles were old enough to go with their Dad on Wes's dream -- but Wes had to be content to just watch his dream go chugging by. Wes had to stay at home and help Grandma and go to school.

This fellow wasn't content to just dream, he was planning how some day he would own his dream just like the big handsome one Grandpa had down in the shed. When evening came and the men came in for supper and to relax, Wes would go down to the shed and climb on his big dream.

Although he needed a box to climb up on his dream, once up he was no longer a boy but a big man, pouring coal in the fire box and watching the steam gauge climb to the proper place. With a grease gun in one hand and a cloth in the other he would clean and grease his dream.

Then one day his Grandpa gave him a big surprise and took him on one of the runs, what a time our dreamer had! When Grandpa died, Wes's dream almost died too, because they sold his big dream out in the shed. He still had hopes of making his dream come true, though.

As the years went by, Wes grew into a nice young man and worked for different farmers and would go out on threshing runs with them. This wasn't work for him, it was a lot of fun! Wes would think, 'May be my dream is coming closer and closer.' What a man he thought he was when the owner would let him take the big black thresher through the gate. On one of these times one of the men gave Wes a big cigar. How proud he felt driving his dream through the gate -- but wait -- what did he see sitting under the big shade tree up by the house? -- something that he had not thought of before! As he puffed up to the gate you couldn't tell which was smoking the worst -- the engine or the cigar. At any rate, the gate didn't move and Wes went over the gate post. 'Oh my, what have I done now, and to think those girls were watching me! Now, what will I do?'

Now in his middle years, and the tractor or electric taking over, the dream is hard to find. They are few and far apart. Although he is a grand-parent now, he still carries his dream down deep in his heart, hoping some day he can buy his dream.

There is a happy note to this, though. We can go from one reunion to another and smell the smoke and see the steam. Then, too, he has the movies and tape recordings of his friend that has one of his dreams.

Some day may Wes's dream come true. By now you steam fans should know what the little fellow's dream was - and still is.

- A Dreamer's Wife