A Man To Remember


| November/December 1966



The writer of this letter asked that his name not be used.

As steam engines and men that knew them, I would like to take this day and time to tell you and all the men and women that are interested in the old steam engine threshing days of a few years back.

When I was a very young fellow still in my teens in the 20's, there was a man who, even now, you could call the best steam man on the circuit for I know him to be one of the best to work on engines, such as putting in new main bearings. He could hear a wrong valve a mile away. Flues were a cinch. I never knew of him having to put in a flue on the account of firing.

There was nothing ever very exciting happening around his outfit on the account of the engine or the separator for he saw they were well oiled. He was the engineer on both.

You could look at this man and it would just tell you he knew engines and he did. I learned under this man. Of course, where my brain should have been was just muddy water. But he never lost patience with a young fellow wanting to learn a steam engine. So after several years I got to where I could start and stop one. But this man has crossed over the river. The old grim reaper, Cancer, got him. And Mr. and Mrs. !! he come right out of the heart of Daniel Boone's Country, down in old Kentucky. He did not cross over to the other side before he found a son on a steam engine wanting to know what it was. So his dad told him what it was and what it could do, what you could try, what you should not try, and to be sure to keep it well oiled and greased, and always listen to what the other man has to say about a steam engine. He was just that way. So I know where ever the dad is, if there's a steam engine around, he is pretty close by. And I think sometimes he might have his hand on the son's shoulder. The son is Charles G. Barker, Lexington, Kentucky, Route 7. I know a lot of you people know him.