Hi! to all my wonderful friends of the Iron Men Family we have known each other for quite a long time now, and I always look forward to meeting new folks in the family also. One thing I regret is that I used to get so much mail pertaining to the IMA. I implore you, especially those who have never written to me, give it a try! And to all the wonderful contributors who have taken pen in hand and written to meare you sure you don't have some other tales of long ago, or even recently? My column is NOTHING without you folks please make a special effort to send some more letters and items you feel would be appropriate for this magazine. I'll be praying about it and see if we don't get more letters.
As always with a magazine, we put it out a couple of months early and I know we probably are not as much in the 'spirit' as we should be, but I hope as you all look forward to the holidays and New Year, you are planning for homecoming, loved ones being together; I thought you might like a short story which could effect us all to boost our morale! It's called FORGOTTEN WINGS.
'One winter morning, I put out breakfast for the birds sunflower seeds, toast crumbs, suet and then stood by the window watching, sparrows, chickadees, woodpeckers, and most beautiful of all, the blue and silver jays with their crests blowing in the wind.
'A jay lighted, picked up the largest chunk of bread and started to carry it away. But the ice-coated platform was so slippery under his claws that he began sliding. He was over the edge, fluttering and falling toward a snowbank, before he remembered that he had wings. Spreading them wide, he took off in a wild flurry for a high branch.
'I couldn't help laughing at how silly he looked, skidding and yelling when he needed only to open his wings and fly-then I stopped laughing.
'Because what else had I been doing? I had been depressed. Everything seemed go wrong. Yet, I had tried to save myself by my own efforts, when all the time, folded and forgotten, I had strong wings the wings of prayer which are always ready to bear us up if we don't forget to use them.'
The story is by Florence B. Jacobs, taken from Guideposts.
And on to our first letter:
TED STEIN, 412 W. Second Street, Streator, Illinois 61364 writes and calls for HELP! 'I recently rescued a pair of rear steam engine wheels and I would like to find someone who might need these wheels. The wheels' measurements are just under 70 inches diameter and 20 inches wide. Note the lugs are from outside im half way with a lug alternative from the opposite side half way cast iron rim. The wheel down under the fire box didn't fare quite as well. There is considerable rust and some of the spokes may have to be replaced. The rim fared a little better badly rusted but I believe serviceable. The bull gear is badly pitted where buried, but the entire teeth show no wear even a couple of spots of blue paint on the exposed edge.
'Someone went in and cannibalized this old engine nearly 25 years ago with a torch and took all they could handle by hand, leaving only the boiler, firebox and two rear wheels and one bull gear. I now have both wheels in the corner of my yard.
'The boiler barrel is cut from the fire box so I doubt if either are worth trying to salvage.
'Now, before I close I want to pass on my safety tip for the day, and my philosophy. I have noticed this a couple of times here: people handling valuable machines improperly as they put the clasp on their winch cable. The cable saddle should be applied to the line of the hook or loop the U bolt over the tail end. With improper application there is a higher risk of the U bolt cutting the cable. If anyone doubts this, check with the clamp manufacturer. They may have included above instructions in each case of clamps.
'Now my philosophy When you have lost the value of common sense, and lost the faith and trust of others, what else do you have to lose??
'Keep up the good work. I've been reading your column since 1975 and hope to go more than another 15 years.' (Greathope we can all meet your expectations, Ted.)
'I have attended shows for over 20 years and I was a thresher at one time and know how important it is to operate threshers at manufacturer's recommended speed.
'In the past few years I've observed a lot of over speeding those machines.
'At a recent show I saw a 22' Case separator running at about 1500 r.p.m. on the cylinder. A bystander mentioned he thought it was running too fast. The man in charge said it was supposed to run 1000 r.p.m. one cylinder. I observed he was using a speed indicator without a rubber tip and evidently was having a lot of slip. I always took extra speed of a thresher on the operator shaft, to take into account of belt slippage.
'At the same show a Minnesota thresher was running so slow that they were having problems of straw not working off of the stack rods.
'So let's not run speed on any machines at shows, for safety's sake, and that goes for threshers, shellers, grinders, hay balers, etc.
'Let's have fun and keep it safe.' (This writing came from an old friend of IMA, EDWIN BREDEMEIER, Route 1, Box 13, Steinauer, Nebraska 68441.)
'I have in hand a copy of The Colorado Prospector special edition,' writes GLEN DIAMOND, 650 West Main, Greenville, Illinois 62246.
He continues, 'On page 7, it shows a wagon train of five large wagons of pinion wood, each weighing five tons. This train and the water wagon are being pulled across the San Luis Valley of Colorado by a 25 HP cross compound Reeves traction steam engine.
'Can you tell me, or point me to someone who can tell me, how a 25 HP engine can pull such a monstrous load on roadssandy in places??' (No, Glen, I can't tell you but here is hoping someone in the IMA family will write youlet us know too!)
'Recently, I ordered Rough and Tumble Engineering from your company. It is an excellent book on operations for steam engines.
'On a back page there is an advertisement on the Mason Kipp oil pump for steam engines. I have been informed by steam engine owners that the pump and parts are still being manufactured.
'Do you have information regarding the names and address of the company making the MASON KIPP?? I need to contact that company for parts. Thanks.'
I have no address for which you are inquiringhere's hoping one of our pals will write you. If you answer please write OAKLEY EL-LICKSON, 1029 Colorado Springs, Colorado 80907.
TOM BULLER, 12613 Fate Houck Road, Sardinia, Ohio 75171 sent a kind letter to us recently and inquired about my husband Ed, said he had heard he was very sick. Thank you, Tombut no, he is not very well. Over the last years he has had five heart attacks and in '89 he suffered a stroke, and I know many of you are familiar with this type of thing. I don't think one is ever the sameit's a very harrowing thing to go through. This year he was in the hospital in February for 18 days and they discovered he has gall stones and had pneumonia. He has not been well since, has lost fifty pounds and still cannot eat but very little due to the sickness that gall stones leave with you, and there is nothing they can do. They cannot operate as his heart is far too bad.
Then this month I was in for nine days and just came home, as I have many ailments. But, thank the Lord, I am still perking along. I had quite a bout with my asthma, have different kind of puffers to use and a Pulmo Vac which is a machine you put water and medicine in and then sit and inhale it, sometimes four times a day. I thank God though, for I am feeling a lot better and have many things to watchI have lost too much weight and, of course, am an insulin dependent diabetic, and a few other little goodies. Thank you folks for inquiring. Hope there are better times ahead.
As I look to the end of the year, I have a prayer for Tomorrowperhaps some of you may use it. 'Beyond today will be tomorrow, But what it will bring of joy or sorrowI cannot know, I only pray, Your guidance, Lord, each hour, each dayYour strength to bear whatever may beYour loving wisdom has for meSo sweet or bitter, sad or gay, Be with me Lord, beyond today. Charlene A. Wallace.
Our five greatest Blessings are our five children and their familiesone could never believe how much they all care and show it.
I found this too, which you may all enjoy'Most of us miss out on life's big prizes. The Pulitzer, the Nobel, Oscars, Tonys, Emmys. But we're all eligible for life's small pleasures. A pat on the back. A kiss behind the ear. A four-pound bass. A full moon. An empty parking space. A crackling fire. A great meal. A glorious sunset. Hot soup. Cold drink. Don't fret about copping life's grand awards. Enjoy its tiny delights. There are plenty for all of us.'Perhaps you could think of many more; if so, send them along.