SOOT IN THE FLUES


| July/August 1973



Soot in the flues

Hi! And a Happy Summer to you as I know you are all busy, busy, busy -planning Steam Show trips - and weeding the garden and painting the last dabs on that engine - and doing those summer chores that must be done around the house and dreaming and thinking of the smell of steam and the good times that will come your way at the Shows. You know what I mean -more dreaming and steaming and scheming, than keeping your mind on your work.

Well, take a minute off and take a look at the magazine - notice anything different? Sure 'nuff the magazine has changed hands and office location. The home base is now in Lancaster, as Earlene Ritzman has turned 'the reins' over to Gerald S. Lestz, the new editor and publisher of Iron-Men Album Magazine.

As before, Mr. Lestz plans to keep the magazine much as it has been, and it is only fair I give you a little date on the new 'head of our family.' I haven't know Gerald Lestz very long, but if first impressions count we'll be a big happy family as always. He's quite versatile and no 'greenhorn' in the literary field, as you'll see in forthcoming issues. He has been a newspaperman in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for 33 of the past 38 years. He writes for the Lancaster New Era and is editor of Baer's Agricultural Almanac and serves other publications in editorial capacity. He has written several books and many articles. His latest work is entitled 'Amish Beliefs, Customs & Discipline.' He is a past president of the Fine Arts League Of Lancaster and of the Friends of the Lancaster County Library, and of the statewide Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. He also gives lectures on old houses.

And as I mentioned in the Gas Engine Magazine, Gerry is a celebrity in the field of writing (which puts me in left field, so I'll have to shape up and get in the 'ball game'.) From the short time I've known him though, I can tell you it's very pleasant working with him. He is understanding, amiable and quite a likeable person - methinks we will be 'steaming along' pretty well.

When I first heard of the magazines being sold, I must admit I had mixed emotions as I prepared the materials to be turned over to the new owner. After all, I've been with the Ritzman's 15 years to the day. I started on September 16, 1957 and my job was terminated March 16, 1973 - how about that? When you've lived with something like that day in and dya out all those years, it becomes a part of you and although I probably don't know enough about STEAM yet, I've learned a lot of the terminology and better yet, I've made a lot of good friends through these pages. I know I'll never meet many of you folks, but believe me your names are familiar and I feel we're all part of thy ALBUM Family. Anyhow much to my surprise, Gerry has asked me to stay on with the magazines so I expect to continue for the time being.

Helen and Jim Ament will be handling the business end of the magazine and although we've not had too much time to get acquainted, they are a great pair and just give us all a little time to 'make the move.' Treat us as you would one of your 'kin' and be a little patient - it will be worth it.