Five Men From Five States

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Huntington, Indiana

As an example of how the Grand Old Steam Engines can be
Friendship Builders, let me relate a delightful experience my wife
and I had a few years ago.

It was late afternoon, July 6, 1954, when Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert
Enders stopped at our home and invited us to join them on a trip to
Franklin, Illinois, to attend the Rees Steam Engine Day. It was
soon agreed that if the Enders would stay over night with us, we
would go along with them the next day. So after 24 hours and 310
miles, we arrived at the lovely Rees homestead where we found
considerable activity as old engines and threshers were being made
ready for the big show on the next day.

As Heaven was beginning to touch the earth with rest, word came
from the house that supper was ready. Very suddenly we were aware
of the gracious hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Rees. After some
introductions and the renewal of acquaintances, we found ourselves
around a gorgeous and heavily laden table with food to the likings
of the hungriest of old threshermen.

Around that bounteous table were: our hosts, Milford and Vella
Rees of Illinois; the late Henery J. Luck-singer, affectionately
remembered as Father Time, of Missouri; Ray and Emma Ernst of Iowa;
Gilbert and Catherin Enders of Ohio; and Inez Plasterer and I of
Indiana. There we were — five men from five states. We were
brought together by the Grand Old Steam Engines. In the science of
chemistry, a substance that causes by its mere presence an action
to take place but is not itself affected is known as a catalytic
agent or a catalyst. So the presence of the steam engines at the
Rees home were catalysts to bring together five men from five
states, to provide them with delightful fellowship, and to make
them friends for the rest of their days.

The five men from five states taken July 9th, 1954, the morning
after the Reese Steam Engine Day. There are six in the picture as
Mr. Floyd Carter of Monmouth, Illinois, had just returned the big
Avery from the Show Grounds to the Reese yard in time to step into
the picture. Both Mr. Enders and Mr. Reese agreed that their
favorite engine, the old Advance, should stand in the background.
The men from left to right are: Ray Ernst, Iowa; Henry J.
Lucksinger, Missouri; Floyd Carter, Illinois; Eiffel Plasterer,
Indiana; Gilbert Engers, Ohio; and Milford Reese, Illinois.

The conversations around the table were exceedingly interesting
and were charged with keen anticipation of the next day’s
activities. After supper the men continued to chat under the big
shade trees in the front yard while the women speedily cleared the
table and washed the dishes. Soon we heard the music of a piano and
the lovely voices of our women singing together. Certainly the
catalysis of the steam engines was welding a bond of friendship
among four women from four states.

July 8 was the big day. The exhibition was a delightful panorama
of steam activity and threshing and all sorts of exciting
amusements even by a team of mules running off with a load of oats
sheaves. It was a great show chucked into one day, free to all,
where engineers and helpers donated their services, and where the
profits from the concessions were given to charities.

On the next morning, we were again guests of the Reeses. And
again five men from five states and four women from four states
were eating together.

In all that I saw and heard at the Rees home, around the table
or at the reunion I saw no one angry, I heard no profanity, I heard
no demands with threats, I heard no plotting against the
Government, I did not even hear an unkind word said of any one. But
I did see, by the catalysis of the Grand Old Steam Engines, several
thousand boys and girls, men and women having a wonderful time
watching the various performances. I saw old men – just boys grown
older but boys still at heart -having the time of their lives
playing with their toys, giant engines of yesteryear. I could not
but think that the Heavenly Father has pleasure watching His boys
playing with their toys, not quarreling or fighting, but playing as
good boys should.

People that like the old steamers are naturally folks that like
to look back on the good things of the past. They are mindful of
the great American way of free enterprise and industry. They are
appreciative of their heritage of genius and invention, and their
birthright of honor and character. And they are humble and honest
minded enough to believe in God and the sufficiency of His
omnipotent Providence. Thus they have the basis of common interests
that make for delightful and enduring friendships. When they once
know each other they are friends.

Because the Grand Old Steam Engines are doing such a colossal
and magnificent job of bringing good people together, they are
great friendship builders and they are indeed Grand Old Steam
Engines.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment