535 S. E. L4, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
First off I want to tell you how much I appreciate your magazine. When I got my ALBUM from the mail box, my dinner got cold on the table while I read it. I like it very much, but when I read the letter of Mr. S. H. Herum of Dodge Center, Minnesota, referring to the old engines as freaks and to us old timers as Old Fogies, I got all steamed up and I just have to POP OFF. He says 'The stuff you print does not mean a damn to him,' but I just want to tell you it means two or three damns to us old timers and I hope you go right ahead printing it just like you have always done and we will lap it up and blow the whistle for more.
I have never been a thresherman, but I grew up with machinery and I got most of my experience in the wintertime. I grew up in central Iowa, near Des Moines, and we had some real winters there fifty or sixty years ago. My father owned a Birdsell clover huller and an Ottoway corn sheller and an Ann Arbor baler which we pulled with a 12hp. Case engine. This was an old model center crank and we also had a shredder built by Maytag Company of Newton, Iowa. This is the same company that now makes the washing machines. Our busiest season was the fall and winter and it is one thing to handle an engine in summer when the ground is dry, but in the winter when the ground is covered with snow and ice, it is a horse of a different color. Talk about Rough & Tumble Engineering, I have had my share of it. There were times when we had to wrap log chains around the drivers to get enough traction to get up a hill with a load. There were times when going down a hill that we would slide all the way with the drivers turning backwards. My father would never use horses to pull a machine. When moving he said, 'if the engine would not pull it, we wouldn't go,' so we made the engine pull it. We used the old Case about 8 years then traded and got a 12hp. Frick which I liked very well.
I agree with the editor of the ALBUM that the Frick was a very good engine and so was the old Geiser and old center crank Case. I have also run some of the newer ones like the Advance, Minneapolis, Case, Peerless and I found them all good. Any of them would do the work if properly taken care of. I am now 74 years old and have not handled an engine for about 30 years, but I still have the feel of the throttle and reverse lever in my hands. When it's in your bones you never outlive it and I still think I could take an engine through anywhere it could go.
Well I will close my damper and bank my fire and close down hoping to meet you at Wichita next fall.