Hi! to all our great members of the Iron-Men Family and I don't know what's in it for you and me, but best wishes for '83!
Looking back over the year we have had hilltop and valley experiences. A few of the hilltop joys were the graduation of our youngest off spring incidentally, he picked up his diploma June 10, forty years to the day I received mine; we celebrated a 40th Wedding Anniversary and were completely surprised with a beautiful party given in our honor by our five children at a nearby restaurant with many friends attending; we do not travel much, but we went on a trip to Canada for five days with a bus load of good friends we had a ball and thoroughly enjoyed God's beautiful scenery and beautiful people; and of course, many, many tremendous blessings throughout the year just seeing the faces of loved ones and being able to live each day with a freedom we still cherish.
Since the New Year is upon us I'd like to lend this story to you to read. It's solemn, but wise, enjoy it. It is called The Rainbow.
The late William T. Ellis once described the Niagara River as 'a parable of the beautifying of disaster.' The Niagara River is not one of the great rivers of the world. Running from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, it is only a few miles long. But what makes the river significant is that at Niagara Falls there is a tragedy in the channel a break in the even flow of the stream, so that the waters make a stupendous leap into the gorge below. As they are shattered and bruised on the rocks beneath the falls, however, there is cast up into the sunlight the exquisite rainbow of the Niagara, which even kings and queens come from the ends of the earth to see.
Life is like that. Suddenly we have to make a blind leap of faith into an overwhelming abyss of suffering. Completely shattered on the cruel rocks of reality, our emotions are churned into a seething foam of bewilderment. But out of our distresses there is cast up the sunlight of God's love, a rainbow of penitence, hope and trust a radiance in the midst of our tears. Edwin T. Dahlberg, from Wellsprings of Wisdom Ralph L. Woods.
I'm sure each year we face valleys and mountain tops we have to remember our faith when these things happen. And we must try to put the valley episodes out of our mind and trust God to go on that's why we talk mostly about the good things that happen to us. I'm sure you all understand of what I'm speaking.
And now on to the few letters we have this time let's get writing Folks or this column will soon be unnecessary.
GARY KAPPEDAL, Route 1, Box 163, Leng by, Minnesota 56651 sends a group of pictures from long ago that many will be interested in studying. Gary's letter follows: 'I'm enclosing four pictures that may be interest to your readers. Three of the pictures show that my Grandpa's family on both sides were steam men. The other picture is my Dad's threshing rig.
Art Bestal with my Dad's old threshing rig in 1943. The tractor is an Allis-Chalmers 20-35 HP and the threshing machine is a Nichols & Shepard.
My mother's dad, William Lee Palmer, had a farm at Dickenson, North Dakota. When my grandmother was living she said that she believed the year was 1912. In the one picture, that is my grandpa behind the wheel, but others are unknown. As can be seen, the 20 HP Case was burning straw! in another picture, he is pulling a hay rack, which no doubt has straw in it, the cone screen having been lifted out of the stack looks like a flag on a stick.
My father's dad, Carl Kappedal and his brother, Knute, were partners in this steam threshing rig My Dad told me they had this rig before he went to school so the year has to be 1918 or earlier. They were threshing in the Winger area at the time Knute was in North Dakota. Dad believes his uncle Tom Vangen was the engineer and grandpa Carl was the separator man. The wooden threshing machine is unknown but any steam engine man can see that it is a 75 HP J. I. Case traction engine! Notice that the engine has grouters like a 50, 65 or 80 HP Case, instead of the common Moore style for which the 60 and 75 HP were famous. I've seen other 75s like that, some had steel stacks instead of the cast iron like this one, too. The screen is more like what a steel stack would have instead of the cone style the cast iron ones should have.
The above shots are of Carl and Knute Kappedal's steam threshing rig. The engineer is possibly Tom Vangen. Year is possibly 1918 or earlier.
Maybe some steam men will have something to add pertaining to these pictures. If so, it would be interesting and educational to hear from them. I'm hoping that someone will recognize something or a person in these pictures and can add a little information.' (Let's hear from you if you know anything about these four scenes.)
This story of interest comes from DOUGLAS A. SKUBIAK, Route 3, Mondovi, Wisconsin 54755: 'Enclosed is a picture of my Eight by Eight Upright engine. This engine was rescued from an animal fat processing factory in Aurora, Illinois where it was patiently waiting for the knacker man's torch. I am pleased to announce that it is safe in my shop and will never meet the torch while I live.
This engine was still on the belt and had a tallow pot sitting on the cylinder head when I came to take it home this past Memorial Day weekend. It is in perfect condition. It took myself and Mr. Jon S. Gould of Naperville, Illinois an honest day's work to get the 2200 pound engine loaded in my truck. We were both covered with fat when the project was complete!
Someone removed the builder's plate from the cylinder lagging cover before I got to the engine and I have no idea who built it or how old it is. There are no identifying marks on any of the castings. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who could identify the engine.
I cannot express to you in words the happiness I had when this engine first set upright in my shop the feeling can only be topped by the first note of exhaust from the stack in the near future! (And I'll bet the fellow enthusiasts know exactly what you are telling us.)
I really enjoy IMA and wish you and the others on the staff the best in your most worthwhile endeavors.'
Here are a few pictures from WALT THAYER, Wenatchee, Washington 98801. Walt has contributed a lot of pictures to our magazine and we appreciate it.
Walter Thayer's Photos: 'Island Belle' at the foot of Oronda Area on a river at Wenatchee, Washington. Owned by Kit Carson of Mercer Island.
Walter Thayer's Photos: Art Eickmeyer, right, and friend from Wenatchee, stand by an old Case (?) separator on Steffen Ranch on Stemilt Hill, southwest of Wenatchee, Washington.
Walt also tells us: 'If several readers of IMA get a surprise gift such as a railroad calendar from Washington state, they can thank Monte Holm of Moses Lake, Washington and Walt Thayer of Wenatchee. The calendars were made and paid for by Monte Holm to advertise his business, but he also gives a bundle of them to Walt who sends them out at his own expense to steam fans, engine men, R.R. men, rail fans, etc. all over the U.S. and Canada and as far away as New Zealand. Both men were hobos in the early 1930's and know what 'hard times' really were, and now and then they get together and recall those good(?) ole days when a dollar was a dollar if you could find one!' (Don't ask me Fellows how to get one I don't know, as I never got one either.)
Looking for help from the readers for information this notice comes from PHIL STEVENS, Pleasant Street, Barre, Massachusetts 01005. He is looking for any information on a very large steam engine that ran a sawmill in Rutland, Massachusetts. Identifying marks on brass head are James H. Roberts and Co., Boston Builders. Swampscott Pattern, 12 x 15. The steam engine also has a ball governor. He would like to know the approximate year it was built and how many horsepower it has and how rare it could be. He would also like to know its worth and how many were built. (Now there's a few questions to get answering.)