Iron Man Of The Month


| May/June 1970

He was a Spark Plug of the Month without peer, and yet his first love was steam. You could tell it, like when he treated the folks at the Darke County Steam Threshers to a new kind of 'tug of 'War', between the little Case steam engine model he'd made years before, and the larger gas tractor with which he'd won so many tractor-pulls and trophies. Ralph Ary thought it was just another way to demonstrate the power of steam, whatever the size package it came in and he always chuckled that the bigger garden tractor he'd made and belted with step-down pulleys that out-pulled many another its size at the contests could be stalled by the much smaller model of a Case traction engine.

'Once that little Case Engine digs a rut, the larger tractor is helpless,' explained Ralph with a chuckle. 'You'd think the larger tractor would out-pull it, but the little engine will stall it every time. '

The crowds had converged so close, watching Ralph Ary's grandson, Kim Beesecker, throttle Grandpa's little 'Mighty Case' which had spun its drivers into ruts from which son, Gene Ary, couldn't dislodge them with the hefty garden tractor, that it was simply impossible to get in there with my camera to get a picture.

But there they were the crowds cheering the mighty little steam Case versus the larger tractor towering over it, and being stalled despite the many trophies it had won at the tractor-pulling contests. But it was the way Spark Plug-Iron Man Ralph Ary liked it.

'Shoot I like to see that little steam engine stall that bigger tractor, even if I did make them both,' confided

Ralph in a low voice with a sly grin. 'After all steam's my favorite, much as I like the gas tractors too.'