| March/April 1954

R. D. 3, Cadiz, Ohio

If there ever was a boy as crazy about steam engines as I was I never heard of him. I would run a mile in my bare feet and hide in the bushes to see one go by. The road forked about one-half mile from our place and I never could tell which road they would take. This did not give me much time to change positions.

One summer there was some fellows threshing in our neighborhood with a 10 hp. Russell engine and a Massilon separator with a picture of 'The Boss' on the side. The whistle sounded closer every day and my excitement increased with it. Finally the day arrived that we were going to thresh. I helped to haul the oats in, and stacked them, the day before.

That evening I heard them go up the hill to the neighbors. I went to bed that night but might as well have stayed up. I tossed all night. Never slept a wink. I observed the next morning the bed looked like there had been a dog fight in it. Right after dinner they started for our place. They had to come up a hill through some timber. There was one very steep place but solid. Some of the fellows who were waiting to help thresh, said it sounded like they were hung up. Away they went. I was worked up to a frenzy by that time. When we arrived on the scene that little Russell was putting on a 'Wild West Show'. Standing on its rear wheels and the front ones dangling in the air. I took note that the engineer didn't seem to be afraid of anything.

One man grabbed an axe and cut a hickory pole and chained it to the smoke box. By that time the pop valve was carrying on at a great rate. Not knowing much about the world in general, much less the working principles of a steam engine, I thought to myself, she was mad as a wet hen. With 5 or 6 men on the pole the man at the throttle opened her up. She meant it that time, if you ever heard a little Russell bark, that one did.

It was not long until we were threshing. The engineer had chicken for dinner at the neighbors and must have been happy. Every little while he would crow like a rooster. A few years after two of my friends bought a 10 hp. C. Aultman-Star.