| March/April 2001

With our March/April issue, we are expecting spring to be just around the corner! Soon it will be planting time, and time for spring steam ups and swap meets!

We have been working very hard on our annual Steam and Gas Engine Show Directory, which will be available early in the month of March. If you haven't ordered your copy of this invaluable guide to engine events, you may wish to do so before long!

Without further ado, we'll move right into our stack of letters. We have heard from some new contributors this time, and are pleased to welcome some new readers as writers!

BRIAN LOAGUE, 4620 S. E. 26th, Del City, Oklahoma 73115 writes, 'The reason I am writing is that I have been looking here in Oklahoma for scale steam tractors in larger scale, say 1/3 or larger. Years ago, when my father first started taking me to the show in Pawnee, there were a lot of scale machines and they really attracted me. I could stand and watch them all weekend long and never move away. Today there aren't but a couple here at the shows. The state boiler inspector won't look at them unless they have code boilers. What I am wondering is where they all went. Hopefully, the majority of them are just hiding in the back corner of a barn or garage somewhere, waiting for someone to reboiler them and bring them back to life.

'I remember a lot of unique small machines at shows in the past, models of undermount Avery, Russell, Leader and Advance tractors. I just hope that none of these were lost to the scrap man's torch. I'd really like to take on the project of bringing one back to its original beauty myself. I've been kicking the idea of building from scratch, but why not restore one and keep someone's dream and expert craftsmanship around for others to enjoy?'

David Vanek Jr., holding son John on Russ Gelder's 75 HP Case steam engine at Barnes' Steam and Power Show at Belgrade, Montana, August 26, 2000.