| September/October 1953

4307 N. E. Tillawook Street, Portland, Oregon

Right here I must tell you of the kick I got out of reading W. E. Walston's (Williamette, Oregon) article, especially where he tells of having a chance to have been quite a tall man if he had not worn so much off of his feet running after steam engines. I can say ditto. I have had some of the same experiences as a bare foot brat.

Back in 1888 or 89 the first steam engine I can remember about was a portable, owned by Mr. Chester Tripp of Eden, Wise. Seems strange when I think back to that time that I was not afraid of it. It had no whistle or anyway they never used it. When I saw my first traction engine I was scared out of my pants.

I remember my Dad had a few rows of potatoes along the highway (excuse me-rocks and ruts, in those days.) I know I asked Dad what that noise was down the road. He told me it was a steam threshing rig going to thresh for my uncle. You can imagine how excited a bare foot kid can be waiting for such a thing to show up over the bill. When it did and I saw the smoke and heard the wheels crunching the ground, I began to be scared and when the operator blew the whistle I thought it was time for me to be going. I made the quarter mile home in less time than it takes to write about it. When I got home I told Mother there was a big 'Injin' coming along the road. She laughed and said, 'I guess you mean engine, don't you?' Anyhow I did look out the window to see the terrible monster go by.

Next morning Dad took me along to the neighbors where the machine was. In those days they exchanged work as there were no crews with any machine.

I remember looking between the rails of the fence and watching the wonderful engine but when the engineer blew the whistle for dinner I again got home quick.


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