1125 North Main, Decatur, Ill 62521

Dear Anna Mae:

It has been sometime since the last I wrote you, but part of a
letter by Mr. Rex Johnson of Terre Haute, Indiana in ‘Soot in
the Flues’ in the March-April issue of I.M.A. induced me. Mr.
Johnson ventured some criticism of the marking and identifying of
equipment at the steam shows and I certainly think he has a point
there. I think it would be very appropriate if steam show officials
would insist that all equipment be numbered and some information
(like perhaps a mimeographed or printed sheet giving some history
and description of that particular piece of machinery or equipment)
be available; for, as Mr. Johnson said,

‘Why take a picture when you don’t know what you
got?’. And the pictures they do bring back and show to their
neighbors and friends do advertise and create interest for larger
attendance at future shows. Mr. Johnson also touched on a
discourteous attitude of some exhibitors of engines or other
equipment. Last year my wife and I attended some eight or nine
shows and had a good time at all of them. But we did have more fun
at the particular places where harmony, good fellowship and
friendship existed.

However, we did see a few instances where some engineers or old
car exhibitors were discourteous and actually rude to visitors.
These instances, of course, are few and far between but they do
leave a bad taste in an otherwise pleasant atmosphere.

I have a minature steam traction engine which I built myself and
take to some shows and its gratifying to meet the fine people that
come to visit and ask questions and make comments and it’s
amazing and a joy to meet the many young boys that show a sincere
interest in steam engines. I have had some come and sit for an hour
at a time a couple of times a dayjust looking and asking questions
and it will actually surprise you the interest and understanding
some of these boys show.

At the 1967 N.T.A. Show at Wauseon, Ohio, Mr. Frank McGuffin was
in charge of an engine which he didn’t run much but had a
platform with step at the engine platform. This made it easily
accessable especially for the ladies. People would come here to
look and ask questions and Frank did a fine job of answering
questions and explaining any part of the engine. This left a very
good taste in the mouth of visitors, as I heard a number of people
remark (Mostly the ladies), ‘Who is that sweet old gentleman in
the old overalls?’

Now I must air a little gripe directed at our good friend and
buzzum buddy a certain Mr. Joe Fahnestock of Union City in the
state of Indiana, the gentleman that writes all those beautiful and
heartwarming Ironman of the Month articles. Not only are they
interesting but they pay tribute to these old boys who carved out a
piece of steam history that would otherwise go unnoticed. But what
Mr. Fahnestock did to Mr. Charlie Ditmer in the March-April I.M.A.
is unforgivable, unpardonable, and redeemable only by 20 lashes
from an Advance smoke stack. Here is Mr. Ditmer, a very fine and
congenial gentleman, who has a pretty lity bity 12 h.p. Advance of
which he is justly proud because he keeps it perfect. And Mr.
Fahnestock willfully, brazenly, and with his bare face hanging out
calls it an Advance Rumley. Oooooh, Mr. Fahnestock, what you did!
If you will now look on Page 10 of January-February 1964 I.M.A. you
will see where a certain Wally Getman of W.S.F.A. boo booed by
calling his little Advance ‘Advance Rumely’. It took
several months to get him straightened out but if he had gotten
straightened any straighter his toes would have pointed

Now on Page 24 of November-December 1966 I.M.A., a Mr. Howard
Camp of Newnan, Georgia, has a nice little Advance and, judging by
the picture, he looks like a real nice sort of a guy. Funny how he
would let his tongue slip along the same lines; and, if you will
read his apology, you can see somebody really broke him from
sucking eggs, as he says, ‘I’ll never, never, never do it
again.’ Oooooh, Mr. Fahnestock, what you have in store for

In closing, Miss Anna Mae, would you by any chance have some
friend or acquaintance that owns a bugle and can play taps?

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment