At this writing ice fishing in northern Wisconsin is in full swing in spite of ice 30 inches thick and prevailing sub zero temperatures. The more ardent anglers have a 4X6 collapsible shack for wind breaks. Fishing is not only a pastime but a sort of a competative habit. I know several anglers who care very little about eating fish but catching the big ones seems to merit publicity in the local papers. However, going fishing and catching fish can be two different things. I recall overhearing HELEN SATER, 'We went up north fishing and got a lot of bites; mostly mosquito bites.' She should be here in winter, no mosquitos and no need to rent a boat. (Haven't got my Norsk spouse interested in winter fishing yet.)
As for me I persue a less strenuous side line, that of feeding winter birds. We have to date 12 different species feeding regularly including the colorful purple finches, cardinals, and evening grosbeaks, Unusual at our feeder is a slate colored junco who chanced our winter fare in lieu of the trip south with his next of kin; maybe he sensed the Cuban situation. Many folks venture to feed birds and on the contrary keep cats. 'You can't eat the cake and have it too.'
A dejected boy came home from his first day at school, 'I ain't going to school tomorrow.' 'Why not,' asked his mother. 'Well I can't read, I can't write and they won't let me talk.'
Was shredding corn with my 'Old Faithful' 10-20 McCormick Deering. I call it 'Old Faithful' having spent more hours with this tractor by far than any other I have owned; shredded 374hours belt time one season. (More on shredding and threshing some other time.) At any rate 'we' were at it again when in drives a pick-up from Illinois. It had an illusive 4 hp Mogul for ballast, so I immediately comprehended, 'Early Day' collectors. Sure enough here was ED E. SCHMIDGALL from Morton and ROBT. VOHLAND of Washington, Illinois. (These boys were featured in October 'Engineers and Engines' page 1.) Had a nice visit over a cup of coffee with them, but like many other transients they just stopped in enroute (from St. Cloud, Minn.).
JOHN M. NELSON and his wife Nellie of Almena, Wis. visited one afternoon and we sure done some saw mill talk. He gave me a picture of a Phoenix Log Hauler that he worked with near Couderay, Wis. in 1920. This outfit at one time pulled a train of sleds hauling 100 thousand feet of logs. Many an old time thresherman can boast bushels but John talks in millions of board feet. John has used various units for power but keeps coming back to steam. I don't know if you would call it just a hobby, in as much as he normally saws 75 M feet hardwood logs each summer. His present power is a 1915 60hp Case number 29132 which he purchased from HENRY NELSON, of New Auburn. This engine was bought new by Henry together with a 36X58 Case thresher and was used for threshing, sawing, breakingland and road grading. At the time John bought it an apple tree had grown partly through the left hind wheel which raised a problem as they wanted to save the tree. John installed new tubes and now has an engine in very nice shape complete with Gould balance valve.
There has been much talk and protest about this five cent postage. Geo. Christian sends me a clipping to the effect that back.in 1847 the cost of mailing a letter was 5cent for a maximum of 300 miles and likely no one complained.
A young couple had asked the minister to get married after church services, so at the close, the minister asked 'Will those who wish to get taken into the holy bonds of matrimony please come forward'. Seven women and one man come forward.
Took in the annual John Deere, show at Amery and there met up with my good friend )LENNART JOHNSON, Dresser, Wis. After he made some favorable comments on the ALBUM he went on to invite me to 'a ringside seat' with him some week-end while working at the control-station where he operates the ski lift at Trelhaugen ski slide near Dresser. Lennart and brother Lloyd installed the rope and cable ski lifts at the time this slide was set up some years ago, and Lennart is now key man of its mechanical operation. Needless to say I gladly accepted his invite and spent a very enjoyable afternoon in the midst of activities at the ski resort. Couldn't resist to taking movies, certainly if movie pictures are justified at any place this is it. It amazed me that with something like 1500 or more participants plying the hillsides, accidents are almost nil. One thing for sure this form of exercise in brisk Wisconsin air certainly makes for graceful figures and good sleeping.