SOOT IN THE FLUES


| January/February 1986



Old steamer

4

Hi Dear Friends! This is the first issue of 1986Bless you and hope you have a rewarding year coming up. I have a story to relate that may give you a little insight into some of our resolutions. It is called Life's Hard Tasks. Among some skaters was a boy so small and so evidently a beginner that his frequent mishaps awakened the pity of a tenderhearted, if not wise, spectator. 'Why sonny, you are getting all bumped up,' she said, 'I wouldn't stay on the ice and keep falling down so; I'd just come off and watch the others.' The tears of the last downfall were still rolling over the rosy cheeks, but the child looked from his adviser to the shining steel on his feet, and answered, half-indignantly, 'I didn't get some new skates to give up with; I got them to learn how with.' The whole philosophy of earthly discipline was in the reply. Life's hard tasks are never sent for us 'to give up with'; they are always intended to awaken strength, skill, and courage in learning how to master them. (From Leaves of Gold). Think of this little story when the resolutions seem to overcome you stay with them and 'learn how with'.

I'm just very happy that we have more letters this magazine. I have a feeling there are quite a few folks out there who are telling themselves they are always going to write and then put it off, or some tell themselves they're not good enough writers don't you believe it, just tell it naturally and the Iron-Men Family will be happy to read it. Now onto the correspondence:

A writing comes from BILLY BYRD, 369 South Harrig Street, Madisonville, Kentucky 42431 concerning the 'Museum Journey Into Past.' It is taken from the Leaf Chronicle and the article is being used by permission of Leaf Chronicle, Clarksville, Tennessee from September 2, 1985; sanctioned by Dee Bryant, editor.

Billy Byrd started out as an engineer on the Old Louisville and Nashville Line, and his voice grows soft as he remembers how it used to be.

'It was a special world. You'd sit in the cab on night runs, the wind rushing by and the only light coming from the moon and the flames in the fire-box,' he says.

'You'd build pressure, and you'd hear the old girl talk to you in a language only you and she could understand.'