| January/February 1955

Tacoma, Ohio

While being employed by an old line threshing machine company and being sent to another state, now more than a third of a century ago these years have gone and merged into oblivion, I still remember 'One Grand June Morning' of that year.

I was assigned to handle a time settlement and unload off a flat car and deliver a steam engine to the purchaser's home at the corporation limit. The buyer knew very little of how to operate a steamer. Now after three and a half decades that June Morning is still vivid to me as if it had happened yesterday. I arrived at the railroad station by train to see the steamer setting on the flat car ready to be unloaded, the smoke and steam making a wonderful scene in the air.

My first duty was to make settlement before delivering the engine. I contacted the buyer, who had given a time order for a settlement with the rates and chattel mortgage as required for a time sale. He at once stated, 'That he was going to pay the cash for the engine in full but must have a discount.' There being no mention or provisions made on the time order of a discount in case of cash, I informed him I would not deviate from the order excepting he pay the full amount called for and he and the company settle that as likely they would. This he flatly refused to do so my next move was to go to the telegraph office in the depot and wire as to how to handle this settlement. A young operator was on duty and his first job, a relief operator I found him to be. While waiting for a reply, I noticed a young lady, who had missed a passenger train that A. M., out looking the steam engine over and seemed very much interested. Both the telegraph operator and the engine buyer remarked, 'She was an entire stranger to them but might be a prospective buyer and that a two way deal might be closed with that very attractive and good looking girl. The reply came over the wire and since I could read code I understood it as it came in.

'Sell for cash, allow cash discount' was the reply, and a settlement at the bank was quickly transacted.

When I returned to run the engine off the car the young lady approached and asked, 'If she could run the engine off the car as she had run and fired one many a day when help was not available'. Her father had a traction engine the same make and size, so after the engine was off we let her try her hand and found she surely knew as well as many old experienced engineers. I took the same train as she that evening for the city where the branch house was located and she told me she, had taken a business course and a position had been offered her. Many years had passed and having some old pictures in the ALBUM, I received a letter from a person wondering if I was the fellow and remembered the day when I went to unload and get settlement for a steam engine and knew the answer to the reply message by knowing the Morse code, and also giving a girl permission to run the steam engine a few minutes.


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