Remembering Our Days With Steam-

| September/October 1978

  • Replica of 1/2 scale
    Replica of 1/2 scale 1913 65 Case made by Sylvester Fosdick.
  • 4-6-4 Northern train
    Pictured is a 4-6-4 Northern train made by Sylvester Fosdick.

  • Replica of 1/2 scale
  • 4-6-4 Northern train

410 North Webster, Fairbury, Illinois 61739

Many years have come and gone since I romped and played on the farm owned by my grandfather in Mclean County, Illinois. I played on a steam engine, threshing machine, clover huller, corn sheller and at a machine shop prepared for such equipment.

It was there my love for a steam engine took over. I remember pleading with my mother to let me go threshing with my dad. It must have been very convincing because in the home in which I was raised, no was no and yes was yes, and one knew better than to sulk or pout to get your way; for a two-inch strap across bare legs soon made you wish you had never been born, and you forgot any desire of your own and very soon conformed to the instruction of mom and dad. I do not wish to convey that my parents were cruel or mean because no one ever grew up in a more loving home than ours, but mom would say, 'You can go but you must stay on the engine.' 'You are not to go in for dinner.'

I suppose there was some method of correction to these orders, but with a boy's love for a steam engine, what kind of pie, cake or cookies could compare to an engine?

I was very careful to comply to my mother's orders for I knew if one was broken that would be the last time for me. You know word would get to the house that the engineer's son was down on the engine with orders that he could not leave. I do not remember how or just what they brought out, but I am sure I faired just as well as any of that thresher crew.

Years soon passed and I was making a hand on the bundle wagon. In the meantime my grandfather died and these hard years took their toll upon the life of my father, for the engine was used the year round.


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