After the terrible month of March when we were snowbound for
either one, or two days out of each week for five weeks straight,
and then the bad month of April when the gravel roads went all to
pieces, spring finally came. The Illiana Steam and Hobby Club held
their Fifth Spring Pop-Off Sunday afternoon and evening, April
24th, at the school at Pine Village, Indiana.
Since many of their families have other hobbies besides steam,
the rooms were full of exhibits. There was a whittling display and
a fine display of stamps and first-day covers and coins. The
exhibits of rocks and fossils were especially good, and the making
of rings from rocks was demonstrated.
Old-time tools and early American household articles were
exhibited. There were old watch fobs, bells, many threshing
pictures, some fine articles in woodworking and many works of
handicraft of special interest to the ladies. Charles Dilden
brought his phonograph and his many records of locomotive and steam
Carter Dalton of Warren County, Ind., had his wonderful Case
model engine all steamed up and running. Since it was such a hot
day — it must have broken all records — we could keep the big
doors open all the time, and the crowd surged back and forth. Fred
Hanson of South Bend had his Case model 65 built on a scale of one
inch to a foot — a real work of art. There were many other
stationary and toy engines there.
After a delicious supper in the school dining room, served by
the Methodist Church, Leonard Mann, president, introduced Gerald
Hamilton of Hoopeston, Illinois, who had brought two guests from
the Union of South Africa. One of them, Rod Church, has been sent
over here by his government for two years to study canning. Since
Hoopeston is considered the Sweet Corn Canning City of the World,
he came there. Mr. Church, who spoke excellent English, told of the
history of his country and explained their problems with the black
man. He is a British subject, born in Kimberly. He spent three
years in the Royal Navy and was a graduate of the University of
Cape town in Electrical Engineering.
Mr. Church’s knowledge of his country as to history,
resources, climate, agricultural products, etc., was amazing. I
wonder how many of us, if we were in a foreign country, could have
done as well! The country’s problems with their 4 million
whites and 10 million blacks are not as easily understood as the
newspapers would have us think.
Two accordion students of Mrs. Abner Pence of Kramer gave a fine
The grand finale of the evening was the ‘Bubbles
Concerto’ by Eiffel G. Plasterer of Huntington, Indiana. He is
a native Hoosier, a university graduate, a well-known teacher of
physics and chemistry, a writer of scientific articles, a farmer
and a lover of Steam.
He is a scientist who has spent twenty-five years of spare time
research on soap film phenomena. While Mrs. Plasterer took care of
the musical accompaniment, the Bubble Man put on one of the most
fascinating shows ever seen.
The wonderful day was over, and we parted from our old friends
and from our new friends made that day and promised to meet them
all soon at the coming Reunions.