Rt. 1, Wellman, Iowa 52356.
I realize I should have written this letter about a year ago, but, for some reason, I just didn't get to it, so, I'll just revert to the old adage of 'better late than never' and write it now.
Am writing to thank you for printing the picture of my 'Russell' Steam Engine Mail Box and Iowa corn and the very nice story that Mr. Joe Fahnestock wrote about me as Iron Man of the Month in the 1971 January-February issue of the IMA. I have received many very nice comments and compliments, both personally and by mail, from people who read it. However, from your own personal comment which you wrote underneath the picture of the train load of corn, I am lead to believe you somewhat doubt my verasity for truthfulness. Anna Mae, you have surely been associated with 'old threshers' enough to know that they never tell a lie, haven't you?
Am enclosing a picture of that corn, for you, and will tell you the story of it. This is a picture of some corn which I raised on a test plot for a seed corn company, a few years ago. It was a new variety which they were experimenting with, which they called 'Vine Corn'. As they were never able to develop a stalk strong enough to hold these big ears up, they grew them right on the ground, on a vine, like a pumpkin, or water melon. To harvest them, they would just send men out with ordinary chain saws to cut them off, then hitch onto them with these big 'Cat' Tractors and drag them in. Our State Hi-way department is experimenting with the cobs by boring them out and using them for tubes for driveway crossings. Then, an insulation company takes the bored out pith, dries it and sells it for house insulation. One ear will usually make enough to insulate a six to eight room house. Now, this story is the truth, up to a certain point and I'll let you be the judge as to just where I reached that point.
The state of Iowa has long been famous for growing the world's tallest stalks of corn. Now, with some 'specialized treatment', we are also able to produce these giant sized ears. (Yes, Fellows I know it's a tractor and belongs in Gas Magazine, but it goes with the letter and the article that previously appeared in Jan-Feb. 1971 issue. There is another picture of the corn in that issue. Anna Mae.)
David Murphy, age 13, running his Dad's Ottaway; Howard Murphy running his Cagney and Dan Murphy, age 11, along for the ride.
As to the Russell Engine pictured on page 54 of the March-April 1972 issue of IMA, it is a 25 HP, owned by Frickie Bros. of Mt. Union, Iowa and was taken at The Mid-West Old Settlers and Threshers Reunion, at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. I'm sure the man standing by the front wheel is Charlie Frickie and the one on the side of the engine is Lloyd Widmer of Winfield, Iowa. I don't know the boy sitting on the tank, unless it is one of Charlie's boys.
I have been a subscriber to the IMA for 21 years and enjoy it very much. Keep up the good work.