Iron Man Of The Month


| January/February 1973

Joe Fahinestock himself

(Shirley is a staff writer for the Muncie Star, covering Jay County for the Star as a Bureau writer on full-time basis. She has had articles published in agricultural and horsemen's magazines-Farm Quarterly, National Future Farmer, Western Horsemen and Hoosier Farmer. She is a junior at Ball State University and she and her husband own a small horse farm where they raise Arabian and Part-Arabian horses at R. R. 1, Dunkirk, Indiana 47371.

We appreciate her efforts in bringing out the highlights of the 'Spark Plug' of the Month-I'm sure you all enjoy Joe's efforts each issue-and we're mighty proud to have him in the Spark Plug Column this month. He won't know about it until he reads the magazine, so our hats are off to our 'Joe Dear' as we surprise and thank you for all your efforts-GEM.)

You might find him out in the garage, covered with a respectable layer of grease, tinkering with his fondest creation which looks like a John Deere garden tractor crossed with five other things. Or he may be locked in what passes for a study, laboring over a new chapter in one of the books he is always going to write but never does. Or, he might be holed up in the darkroom making prints from the latest rolls of film he shot for a 'Sparkplug' column.

But if he's not busy at any of these things, chances are pretty good he'll be holding down a camp chair at the nearest tractor and engine show, peddling subscriptions to 'Iron Men Magazine' and gathering information for the winter's succession of columns. His name is Joe Fahnestock.

Joe, by his own admittance, is a better listener than talker and is a past master at the journalists' art of being a good audience. In fact, Joe doesn't seem to talk much. Probably because he's so busy thinking about so many things at the same time. But his wife and 'right-hand-man', Pat, is a fountain of information. Wearing a little sign that says, 'Joe's Shadow', Pat makes all the rounds with him to find his notes, hold his pencils, remind him of things, caution him, scold him, cajole him, and encourage him when things aren't going just right. He couldn't get a better helper if he paid one, he says.

The trouble is, Pat says, that Joe is so extremely talented in so many different directions that he's never been able to channel all that energy into one project. And she is right. Few people have equaled the many accomplishments Joe has made, or are as versatile as this stocky little ex-newspaperman. In his field (pick one), he's a virtual one-man band.