SOOT IN THE FLUES


| March/April 1990



Soot in the flues

We are really in the throes of Winter as this publication goes to pressand that means many of you are long past the shows and reunions, but already I can picture you with that gleam in your eye as you put forth efforts to bring a rusted piece of equipment into a thing of beauty. Remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder and while they may not be beautiful to the everyday crowd that has not been bitten by the 'steam bug' they are really precious gems to the builder or refinisher. Keep plugging and before you know it, spring will be here with the anticipated events leading into the summer attractions. And just as spring turns dead sticks of wood and plain barren ground into beautiful buds, flowers, thick grasses and woodsy plants and shady trees so will the artistic ability of many of you shine forth as you so proudly load up the machinery and head east, west, north and south to the many shows and museums and rallies and you succumb to the feeling 'Oh, all that work was really worth it,' and a joy to remember and gaze upon on into the years.

And referring to the above I just came across this What is hope? Hope is wishing for a thing to come true. Hope is wanting something so eagerly that, in spite of all the evidence that you're not going to get it, you go right on wanting it. And the remarkable thing about it is that this very act of hoping produces a kind of strength of its own. Norman Vincent Peale. (I don't know about you, but I think that fits very well into the hopes and determinations you folks have in creating beauties from the past forgotten itemsseems it just was right for me to relate this to you). Also, I just came across this writing by Frances Louise Medlin taken from the Guidepost Treasury of Hope:

TRIBUTE TO A TREE

'Last night a slight north wind that seemed no more than a gentle puff took the apple tree down. It's lying prone and wilted now, still heavily laden with its last mellow fruit.'

'For weeks we have known its days were numbered. Its gnarled trunk was infested with a decay that would not be controlled and yet, again this April, it delighted every passerby with the profusion of its delicate pink-white blooms, followed by apples that soon grew to the 'picking stage.'

'Over the years its spreading branches have been a veritable haven for the small boys and girls of the family, who along with their elders feasted many mornings on apple jelly for breakfast and apple pie for dinner.'

'Yes, we shall miss our apple tree with a deep and abiding poignancy, and yet, we are grateful indeed for the lessons that the life has taught us the uncomplaining bearing of one's daily load, the quiet courage of doing one's duty even under physical stress, the necessity for giving to the world all of the beauty and goodness that are ours to share.'