| January/February 2001

It's time again to celebrate a New Year, and for us to say thank you for your stories and letters in the year 2000! If you're one of those who thinks about writing but doesn't 'get a round to it,' make a resolution and send us a story or letter today!

We've got a nice selection of letters this month, so we'll jump right in for the New Year!

Reliable GARY YAEGER of 146 Reimer Lane, Whitefish, Montana 59937, again sends us an informative letter: 'After a couple of months of forest fires and much smoke, it finally rained yesterday and put me in the mood to fire up my 15 HP Case today. We have had about inch of rain in the past two days, which will be a good start toward reducing our fire danger. I hadn't been able to fire the engine since the first week in July, due to the tinder-dry conditions.

'Last weekend, I drove 300 miles to the Barnes Steam and Power Show at Belgrade, Montana. I arrived on Thursday and we had nearly three hours of rain, easing tensions regarding our 'mobile fire starters' (traction engines).

'In spite of heavy smoke at times, the turnout was quite good. I wanted to send pictures of some of the engines and crew that make this show Montana's best. This show has always been my son Michael's and my annual time for steam bonding. Mike is in charge of logistics for the Montana Army National Guard at Fort Harrison, near Helena. The fires have had to be his priority. He was able to be there on Saturday only. I really missed our evenings of reflecting about the day's steaming. Maybe next year we won't have such a miserable fire season?

'I wanted to contribute my part in pictures, as I know you will be receiving many from others of the many shows around the United States and Canada. Contributors everywhere are what make our IMA the fine magazine it is.