Great Times with Great Finds


| 10/4/2013 3:56:00 PM


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It was a dark and stormy night. 

Call me Ishmael. 

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. 

Good stories start in any number of ways. But in the old iron hobby, the best tales seem to start with a great find. And the pages of our newest special collector’s edition — Great Finds: Tales of Hunting Old Iron — are packed with ’em.

These are the kinds of stories, as my father used to say, that draw old men from the fireside and children from their play. A great find is, by definition, a remarkable experience; the kind of thing that doesn’t happen every day. Listen closely and you’ll hear a tale woven of hard work, chance and luck — and usually there’s a buddy or two, a large body of water and heavy equipment in the mix as well.

Great finds often start as tiny seeds. They may originate from little more than a wisp of a conversation overheard decades earlier or a fragment of a vague childhood memory; rumors, conjecture, theories. Others may roll their eyes and scoff. But the true believer holds on tight. Next thing you know, he’s wrapping cable around a 90-year-old steam engine and pulling it out of a river or digging an equally old gas engine out of a collapsed shed deep in the woods.