SOOT IN THE FLUES

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It is with a sad heart we edit this magazine, but I feel for
sure Elmer would want us to keep going just as usual and especially
to get the magazine out on time, so here we all are going through
the motions to keep the presses rolling and turning out the
Iron-Men Album.

I’ve had so many, many thoughts these last few days since
Elmer died mostly real nice ones except for the sad moments you
know they say you can never mix business and friendship but we did.
The times we were ‘at odds’ with each other could be
counted on one hand and in a period of over thirteen years I’d
say that is a pretty good relationship. Come this September 16,
I’ll have been with the Iron-Men Album fourteen
years.

Was shopping today and saw some spring onions and if you knew
Elmer you know he loved onions he used to eat them every day and
especially those spring onions. I think there will be many
reminders for all of us and this is good to be able to have nice
memories. If we could only all leave part of what he has left to
the world would be a wonderful thing. I’m glad I had the
privilege of knowing him.

A viewing was held Friday evening in Lemoyne and then on
Saturday a viewing was held at the Church Funeral Service it was
the nicest memorial services I have ever attended. Burial was in
Riverview Cemetery, Millerstown.

Elmer was 82 and died in the Blue Ridge Haven West Nursing Home.
He was a retired minister of the United Methodist Church with 42
years’ service. He had been a pastor in Westport, Muncy Valley,
Salona, Lamar, Munson, Robertsdale-Woodvale, Clearfield,
Williamsport, Millerstown, and retired from Enola United Methodist
Church after nine years of ministering there.

He was a member of Moshannon Lodge 391, F & AM, Williamsport
Consistory, Harrisburg Forest 431, Tall Cedars of Lebanon and was
founder and publisher of Iron-Men Album and Gas Engine
Magazine.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Earlene Ritzman; three daughters,
Mrs. David Gilson of Seville, Ohio, Mrs. John Barger of Linden and
Miss Marsha Nelson, at home; a son, William C. Ritzman of
Millerstown, a sister, Miss Jessie Ritzman of Port Royal; two
brothers, J. Lloyd and W. Book Ritzman, both of Port Royal; eight
grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

And so we must keep on living and doing our jobs in this world,
so on we will go with our usual letters. This one is from KENNETH
J. ONDRACEK, 2016 South Seventh Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68108 who
states: ‘For sometime I have been a subscriber to your
magazine. A friend told me about your publication as I was
interested in all phases of steam machinery. I thought perhaps I
could learn about the operations of a steam engine, thus enabling
me to know what to look for when I try to purchase one.

‘As I have not been able to comprehend the technical remarks
and such, pertaining to the steam engines would it be possible one
of your readers would help me to understand the steam locomotive or
steam engine so I can purchase one as soon as possible and operate
same?

‘Why not carry a short article explaining the simple
functions of a steam engine so persons like myself can get to
understand and then be able to buy a steam engine while not being
competent enough but not get hooked in the process.

‘Your magazine is fine however, it is often times difficult
for persons such as myself to understand completely. With gratitude
for your assistance, I remain

Please help Kenneth with his requests for that is the purpose of
the Album too.

WILLIAM E. HOPKINS, Westminster, Maryland writes: ‘The
election of 1971 officers for the Maryland Steam Historical
Society, Upperco, was held at Armacost Farm Machinery Dealership,
Fowblesburg on January 19.

The following officers were elected by the club: Gilbert Wisner,
President; William E. Hopkins, 1st Vice-President; Murtice Masmer,
2nd Vice-president; Margaret Markel, Secretary; Clark Ensor, Jr.,
Treasurer. The newly elected directors are: Walter Armacost, Paul
Skipper, Robert Gearheart, Truman Stem and Thomas Wickline. They
will serve for three years. The officers serve for one year
only.’

I must close now except to tell you a little more of Elmer he
had been fitted only the Saturday before his death with a new blue
suit in preparation for the wedding of his daughter Marsha who will
be married in June. And when he tried on his new suit he said,
‘And do I get a red tie to wear with this suit?’
Elmer’s favorite color was red and he had his red tie I thought
you’d like to know. When you walked into the funeral home the
RED was very evident in the floral tributes many people knew his
favorite hue and had requested it.

Another thing I like to think of is that a few years ago while
Elmer was touring the country and attending the Reunions, he had a
man, I believe he told me he was an Indian, make him a silver ring
which I’ve always admired and pondered over for he had the man
engrave on the ring ‘This too will pass.’ I’ve thought
about that many times, in many ways. Think about it! It was his
motto.

And if this column is smudged with tears please forgive we loved
him too!

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment