Painting A Kitten

| March/April 1994

Ferdinand, Indiana, and Jerry Kitten, R. R. #2, Box 6, Slaton, Texas 79364.

The Sisters of St. Benedict had their celebration of being in Ferdinand, Indiana, for 125 years in the summer of 1992. This celebration was called the Summer Festival/Farm Show. Quilts Galore, and Antique Farm Show headlined the Summer Fest Events.

Just like red geraniums in Bavaria, quilts galore and more were on the monastery grounds on June 27 and 28. Featured this year were 125 quilts, one for each year the sisters have been in Ferdinand.

Meanwhile, the Ferdinand Benedictine Heritage Farm Show was also underway. As the sisters remembered their traditions of manual labor and of collaborating with the local folks, some of them worked alongside generations of farmers as they again used horses and wagons to bring wheat to the separator.

The farm show included antique tractors, an early powered wood saw, a burr mill to grind corn, plowing under wheat stubble, broom making, a steam calliope, a petting zoo and of course steam engines. The feature company was the Ferdinand Machine Works, which is more popularly called the Kitten Machine Works. At the show were four Kitten steam engines and two Kitten separators.

So you can see for a celebration this size the feature company equipment needed to be in showroom condition. The hours spent cleaning and painting brought to mind the story of 'How To Paint a Kitten Steam Engine.' You can see the end result.