It's hard to believe this is the first issue of another year 1971! Of course, when you receive this we are all in the hurrying, scurrying of another Holiday Season so if there is cookie decorations or tinsel found in among your pages we know you 11 understand.
A letter from E. J. MATHEWS, 1609 Lenox Rd., N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30306, and he writes: 'That picture of George Hedtke's 44 x 66 Case separator on page 10 of the Sept.-October Iron Men Album sure brought back memories of the Good Old Days to me.
'In the summer of 1925, we finished our run in Oklahoma in the early part of August. We used a 22 hp. simple Advance engine with a 36' Case separator which made a real nice threshing.
'After a few days of loafing around, I was ready for more of the same, so I got in my Model T Ford and drove up to Carrington, North Dakota, in search of an engine to run. Someone directed me to Mr. J. J. Lee at Bar-dulac, North Dakota, 15 or 20 minutes east of Carrington. Sure enough, he was looking . for an engine man and offered me the job.
'He had a 35 hp. tandem compound side-mounted Advance engine and a 44 x 66 Case separator exactly like the one shown in your magazine. The engine was a straw burner and I had never handled a straw burner before. Happily for me however, Mr. Lee had a fireman that had fired for him several seasons and really knew how to fire with straw. He always kept the steam gauge between 160 and 175 lbs. and didn't appear to work very hard at it either. It was a good thing he did because Mr. Lee was a man who liked to see plenty of wheat going into his separator. We used 12 wagons with spike pitchers and you could very seldom see the bottom of that long feeder.
'To make a long story short, we averaged something over 2,000 bushels a day that fall and Mr. Lee must have made a pretty penny. There were several incidents that happened that fall, but I'll save them for a later day.
'Like everyone else, I enjoy my ALBUM.' (Thanks for a nice letter, Mr. Mathews.)
M. J. GARRISON, 2223 Suncrest, El Cajon, California 92021, sends us this communication: 'I am writing this letter to say Thank You for putting out such a wonderful book, I read your book from cover to cover about five times each issue and it gets better each time.
'I would like to tell you a little of myself. I am 26 years old and I guess I am a steam nut at heart. I used to fire boilers in the Air Force in Cut Bank, Montana, at the 681st Radar Sqd. That is where I first came across your magazine from a gentleman named Harry Dilley. He has his own shop and builds quite a few engines and I might say some very good ones.
'You know as I read your book, I can't help but get the feeling that the people who write the stories are great men. They lived through the times when men were men and when steam was the backbone of the country.
'I some day hope to have an engine to call my own, so I can go to those wonderful reunions and meet all of those fine people that attend them.
'My favorite article is Threshing the Wheat from the Chaff. It has a beautiful way of telling what is right with things and not saying everything is wrong.
'I really believe that if there were more Iron-Men in this country, we would be a lot better for it.
'So to close, and I want to say Thank You again and keep the steam pressure up. God Bless You All.'
That was surely a nice letter to receive it boosts our morale for, while we know everyone isn't as enthusiastic about our magazine, we do know lots of you folks do seem to enjoy what it has to offer.
That will be it for this time sickness and misfortune has plagued us on the staff this time again, but we're trying to keep up to deadline anyhow. Have a Holy Holiday Season and God Bless you and yours.
Christmas greetings speak of peace on earth but they don't say where.