| January/February 1967

Route 1, Waterloo, Indiana

I certainly enjoy the steam engine stories in the IRON-MEN ALBUM. I never ran a steam engine, but I always hung around the smoky end of things, when a boy, during the steam engine days. I remember lots of stories my parents and old-timers used to tell.

My father told about driving 24 head of horses on a Best or Holt Header near Turlock, Modesta and Stockton, California, when he was 18 years old. He told about having a crop of wheat burned up years ago. He had the wheat stacked at a neighbor's place. They pulled the threshing machine in the place. The fireman raked the fire out in the stubble under the engine and over Sunday, the fire spread over the field, got in the stacks and burned up the threshing machine, wheat stacks and all, but never hurt the engine.

He also told about an old thresher-man that moved a threshing machine from Ohio to Indiana, a distance of 75 miles. He took no fuel along, just chopped up fence posts and rail fences along the road for fuel. Seems like he was quite a character-he was always in a lawsuit about something. The story was that he had more lawsuits than any man in the county and never won a case in his life.

I sure got a laugh when I read the Halloween Halocust story in the Album as I used to have a neighbor that told about this Halloween prank 40 some years ago. According to his story there were married men 40 years old in that deal including some fellows that used to live in my neighborhood at that time. I don't know if my neighbor had anything to do with it, but he sure knew all about it. He has long passed on.

I remember 40 some years ago, Mike Schoudel used to do my threshing and he was hulling clover seed for my neighbor and they were moving the machine over to the other side of the field and went through a low mucky place and got the engine mired down and was 5 days getting it out. They used a block and tackle.


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