436 N. Library,Waterloo, Illinois 62298
I, E.R. Dugan, was born and reared in an Irish settlement called Tipton just south of St. Louis, not far from little Egypt. My father was a thresherman for many years, and I was only seven years old when this story too, place.
My Grandma Dugan was going to thresh in the next few days. I was at her house this afternoon, and she said to me, 'Lad, it's getting late. Now run along. You have to get the cows in. I will pick you up in the mornin' with the horse and buggy, and we will go to town to get some grub for the threshers.'
Mornin came, and so did Grandma with her horse and buggy. She said, 'Jump in, me lad,' and off we went up the road. 1 reached into her basket to see what she had on her grub list, as she called it. What do you know! I said, 'Grandma, two gallons of Whiskey the first thing on the list!' 'Oh,' Grandma explained, 'you know, me boy, the water is so very bad around here and full of wiggle tails that you got to have a little whiskey, so's the men don't get sick.' I said, 'Grandma, the next thing on the list is twist tobacco.' 'Yes,' me boy, she replied, 'I doubt if we get to town before me pipe burns out, but you take a good look, all the rest of the list is grub.'
So, we trotted up the raod. All at once Grandma said, 'Whoa,' to the old horse and what do you know, he stood dead in his tracks. 1 asked, 'Grandma, what's the matter?' She looked over her smoky glasses and replied, 'Here comes that bugger of a Flanagan up the road the biggest liar in the country. I am very much afraid if St. Peter don't keep an eye on him, he will slip in the gates, and that sure would be a shame.' We drove on up the road until we met Flanagan. 'Whoa,' siad Grandma, 'Top of the morning to you, Flanagan. Stop and tell me and the lad a good lie before we go to town.' (This took place every time we met Flanagan.) 'no lies this morning,' said Flanagan, 'I am in a divil of a hurry. You know our neighbor, Gilligan, down the road turned up his heels last night.' At that he cracked his lines. The mules tore out up the road as he yelled, 'I am going to town to make funeral arrangements.' Grandma would have almost bet her horse and buggy that Flanagan was tellin the truth; he looked so sober and worried. She sat dumfounded for a few minutes until she got hold of herself and then said, 'Boy, we better go down and pay our respects to poor Mrs. Gilligan before we go to town.'
As we drove into Mrs. Gillian's yard, out she came. 'Top O the mornin to you, Mrs. Dugan. What in the world brings you two here this time of the mornin?' Grandma, shedding a few tears, said, 'Mrs. Gilligan, I am so sorry to hear Mr. Gilligan kicked up his heels last night.' Mrs. Gilligan exclaimed, 'Who in the world tells you a thing like this? He did not kick up his heels? he's out in the barn getting the mules ready to go threshing.' Grandma explained, 'Mrs. Gilligan, we just met that divil of a Flanagan right up there on the road and he told us. What a lyin bugger he is! Oh, Mrs. Gilligan, I am all shook up over such a Shu-do.'
Mrs. Gilligan comforted, 'Come on in, and take a swig out of me bottle. That will brace you up, I am sure.' 'You know,' Grandma said, 'Just for Flanagan a lyin to me that way, I don't think I will give the bugger a drink out of me jug until he comes to his knees a beggin and repentin.' Mrs. Gilligan continued, 'You know, Mrs. Dugan, I feel especially sorry for his poor old coon hounds. They are so faithful. You know how often we have had to go over to his place and call his coon hounds when he wanted to go coon hunting. He is such a liar; they wouldn't believe him even when he was a biowin his horn.' 'Yes', Grandma answered, 'It's sure too bad Flanagan couldn't cough up the truth a little more than he does. I am afraid he's got his poor old yellow torn cat worried too. Flanagan was a tellin neighbor one day that he didn't believe a cat had nine lives and his, for sure, wouldn't live one if he didn't quit his loafin' at night. So poor old Tom sneaks in the mornin before Flanagan gets up and also makes sure the shot gun is in the rack. Old Tom lays there sleeping with one eye open on Flanagan, for he doesn't trust him one little bit. ' Says Grandma, 'Jump in, me boy, we must be off for town. Good day to you, Mrs. Gilligan, we must be goin. We are a half, day late now, and the worst of all is me old pipe is burned out.' 'Good-day to your-self,' answered Mrs. Gilligan, 'I will see you all in the mornin a threshing.'
As we trotted up the road, Grandma shook her head and said to me, 'I do hope that bugger of a Flanagan gets into heaven a half hour before the Divil knows he's dead. After all, he isn't such a bad fellow; he goes to church and all if only he wasn't such a liar! Oh, well, if the Divil would of had him first, we wouldn't of had much fun at all and nobody to do the lyin. '
Courtesy of Harvey H. Baier, Route 2, Ebner Coulee Road, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
Harvey sent us this article that appeared in his local paper the other day. The editor of paper gave his permission to use this article. We thank both these men.
STEAM GOES OUT OF WEDDING WITH ENGINE IN BEDROOM
SUNDER LAND, England (AP)- Stan Kipling called off his wedding rather than move a model locomotive out of the bridal chamber.
The bride-to-be, Mrs. Janet Parkin, said the three-foot-high engine took up too much room in Kipling's bedroom.
Last month the 62-year-old miner agreed to dismantle the engine, and the couple scheduled a March wedding.
Thursday Stan changed his mind.
'I just can't bear to part with the machine,' he said in an interview. 'It's my only hobby and I want to go on tinkering with it.'
He added that the bedroom is the only place he has room for it.
Mrs. Parkin, a 66-year-old widow, collapsed on being told the wedding was off.
'I am being made to look a fool,' she said, 'but I will never take second place to a locomotive.'
Enclosed, I am presenting another article for your consideration toward publication in the Iron-Men Album. Many little side stories I find I like, may also find some entertainment for others, in the care, operation and construction of old farm machinery. There are many unsung heroes among the development of machinery; one whom I found interesting and I am sure many people know nothing about: Issac Babbitt.
Also among the readers we might try find out 'What is the best remedy for a hot box?' We probably could round up a dozen or more. One remedy I ran across is white lead and oil.
In this shortened biography of Issac Babbitt, mention is also given of one John Ericsson, who's biography is another story in itself. A man we had to learn about way back in school. He invented numerous useful machines, among them, a tubular steam boiler, the screw propeller, a heat engine, and he constructed the MONITOR, first Federal iron-clad gun boat, in 1862 during the Civil War.