SOOT IN THE FLUES


| May/June 1973



Soot in the Flues

I know you are all anxious for this magazine for it means its 'Fun Time' again touring the Reunions and enjoying all those wonderful things that happen to fill your storehouse of memories for the next winter such as the smell of the steam and the lovely soot that sprites through the air onto your new shirt or blouse who cares, it's all part of something called 'happiness' when you're a Steam Fiend. And how about the whistles blowing isn't that wonderful when they all start shrieking? Such noise no! such music to your ears and how about the contests; tug of war, teeter totter, etc., not to mention the many things that accompany these affairs as the Flea Markets, the delicious Dinners served by different organizations, the jokes and tricks on each other, the interest in each new display, the entertainments at evening, the Worship time which most of these Reunions still maintain and most of all the wonderful friendships that blossom forth from folks interested in the same hobby. It's a good life after all, isn't it?? All cares are forgotten or at least filed away for this short time when you can be happy with your kind of folks I hope these Reunions continue for many years, for I know from your letters how much you all love these Shows and anything that relates to them.

And now I'd better get on to some letters that may interest you such as the one from Ray Anderson.

RAY D. ANDERSON, Route 5, Box 537, Winchester, Virginia 22601 sent us a story on a steam engine in Honolulu that is being restored and I thought it would be interesting to you.

It seems there is a man named John Knaus who works six days a week and is a staunch family man, even though he steals away every Sunday to a quiet valley on another shore of the island to visit his other love. Sometimes his wife goes along. He isn't alone as at least six other men come each week to restore an ancient lady from Hawaii's past.

It's been two years since he began to spare No. 6, a locomotive, the agonies of the scrap yard. The 23 ton locomotive enjoys more attention than it did in 34 years of toil in the fields of sugar cane. Every piece of sheet metal had been rusted out, but they have made many improvements on the engine. A new water tank proudly straddles the boiler and a new cab has replaced the battered one. It has a new coat of paint and 66 new flues inside the boiler.

Recently, they fired the engine up and it ran very well, but had a surprise for the spectators. As the steam chuffed through the stack for the first time in two decades, it dislodged an accumulation of dirt and rocks and blew about 40 gallons of hot mud all over everyone.