| May/June 1964

Route 1, Box 1015, Yucaipa, California

Good Family of the Iron-Men Album: Apparently, from reading some notices in the last edition of The Album, I was a bit surprised to learn that I have been doing something wrong for a long, long time. - I have been writing single-spaced. And I can see that is especially bad with this elite type. But Goodness willing, this old mill will be swapped off one of these days for one of pica size type.

And, afore I get on with the next yarn, taken from true life, mind you, let me ask if any of the readers has seen 'Wild Heart' on TV? This is an English picture starring Jennifer Jones, which has two splendid shots of a little steam 'road locomotive' hauling a wagon full of passengers off to the county fair. All polished up and running like a brand new clock. What a beauty!

The Plumber and the Engineer

While some of our little old kettles may have had enough piping about them to almost require the engineer to be in possession of a plumber's card, there doubtless isn't an old steam engineer alive whom anyone would dare to address as a plumber. So it was, one day when I was trekking home at noon time and happened to spy good friend and top mechanic Mel coming out of the plumbing shop some six doors away from his foundry and machine shop. But it was not only the sigh t of him coming out of the plumber's shop which arrested my attention to a full halt, but the queer contraption which he was carrying all entwined about his strong shoulders. Actually, he might have passed for a snake charmer with a large boa draped about his body.

As soon as I was within easy hailing distance I called to him, 'Say, what on earth are you up to with that iron serpent? You must have cleaned out all the elbows, nipples and lengths of four-foot pipe in that solidified spaghetti Joint!' 'Yes,' replies Mel 'and if you didn't always have to be running around in tailored clothes I would give you one end of this animal.'