E. R. Dugan, the flying engineer from 436 N. Liberty, Waterloo, Illinois 62298, writes while attending the greatest steam show on earth for the 21st time last Fall of 1970, at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
I met many new friends, including old ones from the four corners of the world. I repeated and heard many fantastic stories, but the greatest of them all was the one about the Russell Steam Engine Mail Box and the enormous large corn large corn grown by my good friend, Stanley Mouser, of Well-man, Iowa. This story was also in the Iron-Men Album of January-February 1971. Well, anyway, when the show was over, I usually fly to North Dakota to finish out my vacation. However, Wellman, Iowa, wasn't too far out of my way, so I thought I would fly up there to see the mail box and the large corn. When I arrived it took me a while to locate the mail box from the air, but after spotting it, I thought I would land in the field next to it. The field appeared to be full of saw logs, and I noticed at the far end of the field there was a D-7 Cat dragging those logs out of the field. I couldn't land, and while flying back and forth over the field at low altitude, I found to my surprise that those big logs were the big ears of corn that Stanley Mouser was growing up there. This D-7 Caterpillar tractor was dragging those large ears of corn over to the R.R. tracks where they were loading them on flat cars with a crane. I was told that 'Stan' bred this corn from cucumbers and Indian Corn. It doesn't grow on stalks like other corn because the ears are too large, so it grows on vines. When the weather is hot, the corn vines need watching day and night to keep them from growing over in the neighbors fields and dragging the little ears to death. Before leaving the area, I thought I would fly low over the engine mail box and get a picture of it. As I did, I noticed that I flushed a lot of birds out of the mail box, that appeared to be sparrows and starlings no robins. It looked like the sparrows and starlings were having a fued to see who would claim the mail box. So I climbed aloft and headed for North Dakota.
This was my first survey from the air of the Russell Mail Box and the large corn.
I will see you all next fall at Mt. Pleasant with the final report.
(I don't know if I believe it yet. Anna Mae.)