Iron Man Of The Month


| May/June 1968


'Mister, can you direct us to the whereabouts of the Weisel Seed Store?'

'Just follow your nose down to where all the steam engines are stacked in the window and smoke's pourin' out of the door. You can't miss it. And if he happens to be over at the junkyard, she'll sack up what plants 'n seeds you need.'

Thus it was that we were directed down the main thoroughfare of Hillsdale, Mich., to seek out the private haunts of one Carlton Weisel, full time model steam engine genius and junkyard commuter, part-time seedsman and seasonal fabricator of yule tide mistletoe, at Christmastime.

The rows of boxed spring tomato seedlings out front, the rising tiers of model steam engines, their pistons and fly-wheels of brass and nickel-silver reflecting the solitary light bulb through a dark window, the smell of feed and grain sacks wafting from within all told us we were indeed there.

A short, heavy-jowled figure, looking more like an elf from Santa's workshop than ye Iron Man on the vibrating deck, came waddling up the store aisle, lugging a heavy model of a Corliss steam engine-which he promptly plopped down in juxtaposition astride the seed store, counter. His eyes were utterly transfixed upon the object of his affection, hardly knowing I had arrived, while the womenfolk were already well into bartering bargains over the counter in the way of garden seeds and tomato plants.