Iron Man of The Month


| July/August 1969


of DAYTON DAILY NEWS AND Radio's 'joes journal'

UNION CITY, INDIANA.

Should any soul be ever so jaded as to conceive the notion that horsin' around with Iron Horses is strictly for the menfolk and the birds - and never the women - a casual sortie of the reunion grounds at the Darke County Steam Threshers might well dispel such delusion. For here indeed the pleated skirt and feminine hand waxes yet its fiercest competition to the oily, smoke besmirched bib and iron fist at yanking throttles, quadrants and whistle cords, world without end -- Amen.

There's Mildred Ary who, year after year, has been thrilling the throngs by coaxing the ancient Ary Gaar-Scott into just the right notch that sends it lunging forward then backward on the Darke County Threshers' tottering teeter till it comes to rest on just the right sopt to balance the teeter-totter - all while hubby Harold, who never could balance an engine, swallows his cud in masculine obeisance. All of which, once the smoke screen abates from the engine stack, reveals but one more step toward woman's eventual Dominion over earth and all its creatures, including man.

Too, there are the perennial man-and-wife Wrights -- the well-known Frank and Erna Baker-ites who daily promenade the reunion grounds draped, one aloft the coal bunder, t' other astride the water tank. With them it's a mutual obligation keeping Ol' Abner in reciprocation.

And not to be overlooked in our documentary on womenfolk versus men when it comes to cutting capers on a steam engine (heretofore a man's world) we have the comely wife of ex-President of the Darke County Threshers, Thelma Ditmer, who dutifully succumbs to being tied onto the huge drive wheel of the family's 23-90 Baker for a 'revolutionary' ride with hubby at the throttle. For Sylvester, keeping the wife tied down and at his mercy is at best but short-lived and sham. For Thelma, revolving 'round on that engine wheel is but one more revolution in the evolution of woman's rise to dominance and power.

And in the realm of tales yet untold of woman reaching for power in a man's world, there lies yet another story of a lovely lady who, though not quite the master of the family engine her hubby is, seems to be vying for equality that someday may usurp his supreme authority on the swaying engine deck.






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