A REUNION COMPLAINT

Alpena, Michigan

Please find enclosed two one dollar bills for the renewal of THE
IRON-MEN ALBUM which I have enjoyed very much since I started
reading it.

I have been around steam all my life and have run different
kinds, such as steam shovels, boats and mill engines too.

My thoughts were mostly on the way the engines run, such as
valve setting, as I just love to hear an engine cutting off even,
so they can do their work with ease.

For instance, I was called to a saw mill a few years ago. The
owner told me in my shop that his engine was no good and didn’t
have enough power for his mill. So I said to him, will you call me
the next time you have steam up? He said, ‘sure I will’.
And he did. I went to see what I could do and what do you know that
poor engine didn’t know which way to run, yet he was trying to
saw with it. Well, I soon changed that by moving the eccentric a
little and the valve also. Then I said ‘try her now’, and
he started babying the carriage feed and I said ‘push it to
her, I want to see the engine work.’ So he did and off went the
belt. Then he put tar on the belt and yet the engine threw it off
again. So he was convinced he had power.

Gentlemen I would like to say a few words about the Steam
Reunions. I have been to 3 or 4 now and I enjoy being able to go to
them. One suggestion is that the people who have engines on the
grounds to show, and other things, should try and be more willing
to talk to the people who at least act interested, because we who
come long distances to the show like to learn more about things
because even old timers see things there we would like to talk
about. And on the other hand it sure would make them feel more like
coming the next year. So let’s get to be closer friends while
we have a chance.

We have had more unfavorable comments about this particular
matter which our brother speaks of in the last paragraph. So many
people seem to have questions to ask about an engine. A steam
engine is new to them and they try to get some information. Some
engineers evidently have given the cold shoulder to them.

Now I know that it is not always convenient to stop and talk
when an engine is being readied for the parade or some other event.
However, could we not ask them to wait a few minutes and then try
to accomodate them? I think we should be happy that the folks are
so interested.

ELMER

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