Iron Man Of The Month


| November/December 1973


It's not always strictly a 'MAN'S world' at these threshing reunion shindigs. Like Bob Hughes and wife, Marge, who I sort of sneaked up on and caught with my old camera during the 25th anniversary of The Pioneer Engineers Club at Rushville, Indiana.

Twilight was already well spent and the evening shadows were gathering - a very poor time to take a picture underneath the canopy of a steam engine. But the steady, rhythmic bark of the old Keck-Gonnerman was so tantalizing I couldn't resist and found myself winding my way nearer and nearer among the engines at the bottom of the big hill until my ears told me where it was coming from.

There they were - Bob Hughes handling throttle and shoveling black diamonds into the gaping fire-box door, while Marge was basking in the glory of hubby's hobby from her perch on the right hand seat of the pulsating deck of 'OLD KECK'. It was one of those reassuring sights of man wife enjoying the same things - a factor we call 'togetherness', the very important ingredient that makes for marital bliss and never winds up in a divorce court.

True, Bob is the more blustery and talkative type, willing to please and hard-working, while Marge is more quiet. But when the big Keck begins barking they both listen to the 'talking of the stack', and the whirring of the big fan at the far end of the long leather belt.

'What's he doing now, Mr. Hughes?', yelled I, trying to out bark the belching stack.