IRON MAN OF THE MONTH


| January/February 1966



12 hp Gaar-Scott Engine

Courtesy of Joe Fahnestock, Box 47, Union City, Indiana. Heath (two-ton Tony) Paulin uses 12 hp Gaar-Scott as aerial for his T-V entertainment. Pictured is Tony Paulin in his private 'boudoir', towel draped over engine wheel, cider jug, wash-pan

Joe Fahnestock

Daily News Feature Writer and Radio's 'Joe's Journal'

It was hefty, beetle-browed (Two-ton) 'Tony' Paulin, tuning his television set as he basked in the lengthening shadows of the sylvan foliage at the Darke County, Ohio, woods, after the big threshermen's show was over. His full three days of being water boy, fire-stoker, extra engineer and head man of the left-handed monkey-wrench brigade and just drawn to a close. The hubbub of the smoke-bel-chin', steam-engine tooting, grain-separating, straw-stack blowing Darke county threshermen's reunion had come to a glorious, ear-splitting finale. The crowds had gone home, the engines had cooled and there was Two-ton Tony, all alone with his television set and a 12 Hp Gaar-Scott Steam Engine as his only aerial.

'What a innovation, using a steam threshing engine for a television aerial,' said I, loud enough for Tony to hear me. 'That engine certainly wasn't made originally to serve as an aerial for T-V, was it?'

'Nope it wasn't,' chortled Tony, whirling the dials to his favorite evening T-V western, smugly ensconced among his cider jug, wash pan, and sundry other accoutrements of camp life while, overhead, the big, black engine smokestack spiraled the smoke of dying embers skyward

He's always the first guy to arrive and the last to leave at the Darke County Threshing Reunion, or at the Elmer Egbert Buckeye Reunion (both in western Ohio). For Tony, better known as Heath Paulin to his inner circle cronies, is always the 'left-handed monkey wrench' doing' the right-handed job of any engineer that happens to be elsewhere when something's to be done and Tony's there to do it. Can we make ourselves a little clearer by saying that Tony Paulin, like Rube Goldberg, is always where pistons are flying and wheels a-whirring and the smoke's the thickest tightening a bolt here with his big pipe wrench, dropping pin on a wagon tongue there, serving as engineer on a 2-horse upright steam engine belted to the cider press, or pumping water into the big water wagon down by the 'crick'. And when, and if his work-a-day ever ends, come eventide, there's Tony Paulin either listening to his favorite T-V program, wired to a sputtering, dying steam engine for aerial, or shuffling cards for a round of euchre with his 86 year-old Mommy who goes along to enjoy the outdoor camp life.

If the swashbuckling, buxom, but good-natured bettle-browed Heath Paulin looks every inch a steam engineer, it comes naturally. For him those years of smelling coal smoke and dodging the cow-catchers of the old Dayton & Union locomotives while on the track-laying, weed-pulling gang, or his hitch with the Pennsylvania Railroad have left their mark. And the stories he can swap 'round an old caboose pot-belly stove, on a winter's night, of the hair-raising happenings on the PRR high-iron or the weed-patch run of the old D & U have already become legends of classical proportions.