SOOT IN THE FLUES


| July/August 2001



Soot in the flues

We can tell that the annual 'show season' is upon us, as we haven't heard from as many of our correspondents this month. This usually means that folks are either getting ready for the shows, or actually participating in them. However, we have heard from of a few of you, and we will start off the issue with an anecdote from long ago.

We have this interesting bridge crossing story from LEE E. WEHRS, 205 S. Sunset Hills Drive, Apt. 116, Concordia, Missouri 64020:

A Risky Bridge Crossing By Steam Engine

It must have been on a warm, early July Saturday morning that my dad, Martin Wehrs, left Emma, Missouri, a mid-central Missouri village divided by the Lafayette-Saline County line, and drove out to my Uncle Lorenz Meyer's farm. The farm was located about three miles southeast of Emma on the Black water River.

As we were driving along, I reminded myself every now and then not to reveal a secret that I was a party to. If I remember rightly, I was only about eleven years of age.

The secret was that Uncle Lorenz was going to fire up the big threshing machine steam engine and move it across the Black water River bridge, probably against the advice of his neighbors, and definitely against the warnings of his wife, my Aunt Bertha.

The bridge referred to was a wooden plank floor type, with lots of metal super structure. One thing that made this trip more treacherous was that the bridge stood unusually high over the river bed. On the far side of the bridge, the dirt road dropped sharply downward into the willow tree studded bottom.