Families sharing a love of steam aren’t
abnormal in our little corner of the world. Even so, in an era when
many of us worry where the next batch of steam enthusiasts will
come from, families like Bud Thomas’ are a breath of fresh air.
You see, Bud, who’s been a steam fan most of his life, has never
actually owned a steam traction engine. He had an old portable
once, but other than that, he’s contented himself working on his
friends’ engines and helping out other engine owners in the
Over the past year, however, Bud has bought a couple of engines.
Not for himself, mind you, but for his grandchildren. In his way,
Bud’s ensuring there will be another generation of steamers, a
noble cause if ever there was one.
What follows is an expression of one family’s love for steam,
written first by Bud and followed by his 13-year-old grandson, A.J.
Nahlik. Bud purchased the Case for his 22-year-old granddaughter,
Caroline Chester, and the scale Baker for A.J. Sure wish Bud was my
grandfather! – Editor