Dairyland Driftings

By Gil
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David Bryant, Engineer
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Three coming steam engine men - - left to right: Dale Knutson, Alpha, Ill., Harold Bohman, Galesburg, Ill., (this is his sixth year in attendance); Ray Thompson, Galesburg, Ill.; Standing beside Roland Creek's Nichols & Shepard at Mt. Pleasant Reunion, 19

In writing this episode for the Column, I would like to deviate
from the usual unbiased trend and dedicate it to several
individuals whose lives span a great period of changing times and
still with some common aspect; that is to say trying to link the
past with the future.

The passing of a close friend HAROLD (JOB) ANDERSON, from
Washington, Iowa set me in a melancholy mood. To express some token
of recognition in his memory would be just ‘scratching the
surface’. It was, of course, through our common interest that
we met at a steam reunion-at that time, steam was the basic
attraction. Our annual contacts just seemed to deepen our
friendship. He was in charge of the threshing part of the show and
it was my privilege and pleasure to work with him in this activity.
‘Job’s’ jovial ways and willingness to help bears out
the fact that people are, after all, the very grassroots of any
reunion-that knowingly or otherwise, we sooner or later look
forward to meeting old friends, and with smoke in the background
and many forms of antiquated power the setting is unequalled for
friendly relations. In this group, none are too old, none are too
young, like DURWARD STIENMETZ wrote ‘It sure beats the Dutch,
how these old steamers have brought all the best people in the
world together, in a way that nobody else could’. The picture
of ‘Job’ was taken just south of Superior on a trip we made
after an old 10-20 that was saved from scrap . Our deepest sympathy
to Madelon and the three children. The friendship of one so
cherished will long linger in our lives.

A second close friend, to whom I feel much credit due is a
senior citizen of nigh four score years, GEORGE CHRISTIAN, who now
resides at Swanville, Minn. He was a very welcome guest at my
parental home even years back, a good friend of my father and
somehow everybody felt just a bit better from his little visits and
witty remarks. His companionship has provided many inspirations for
this column. He is one with whom I can talk old times and it still
amazes me the work accomplished just using ‘old Dobbin’,
the real horse power. Them were the days-taking pride in doing good
work (and lots of it) was of prime importance. I noted in a recent
newspaper, a president of a sizable business was quoting, on
interviewing applicants that these are the questions they ask. 1.
How much is the pay? 2. How much time off? 3. What is your
retirement plan? This, notwithstanding the talk of a 4 day week.
Countless times in the last decade (prior to moving to Minn.),
George was my standby for help in threshing, baling, silo filling,
corn-shredding, wood-sawing or when sawing lumber, When he piled
slabs; it was piled. George has accompanied me to many steam-shows,
even into Canada. The picture of George, with his sister,
CHRISTINA, was taken in October, 1906, wearing his band uniform.
George has an enviable record of 46 years in that field. The horse
pictured is PETE, 6 years old and weight, 1300.

I, too, figure myself past the half-way mark-at least, to the
extent I sense need for replacements and that’s where our youth
comes in.

I have a nephew, WAYNE NELSON, who stayed with us on the farm,
during the summer months. He was a handy man while putting flues in
my 50 Case. I recall him putting in the front flue sheet hand hole
plate, but he didn’t know it should  had a gasket. At the
age of 14, he handled the steamer remarkably well. He was an ardent
reader of the ALBUM, until, it seems he met CAROLYN (Well, I can
see more future in that). Wayne is now happily married and has two
‘engineers’ (I hope) of his own.

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