SOOT IN THE FLUES


| May/June 1990



Soot in the flues

I am sitting here and thinking of Spring Things and Summer Madness that comes with the thoughts of getting the engines loaded, supplies packed and ambitions riding high to get on the road to the many steam and gas engine reunions. Won't be long now, you know. I'll bet many of you are set to go already, while others must put on the finishing touches to the 'GEM' of their eyes. I'll be thinking of you. It's been awhile since I have been to a reunion but have always enjoyed them, especially after communicating with so many of our Iron Men Family, a wonderful group.

While I have also been busy, my duties, etc. have not all been pleasant. Ed, my dear hubby, who has not been well since his stroke last May, is now back in the hospital. He was coming along pretty well, but Valentine's Day he was taken to the hospital again with congestive heart failure, gall stones which they will not operate on due to his heart condition, then he had pneumonia for a few days and is still in the hospital. He seems to be coming along fairly well, but now has some type of infection in his lungs and some complications. I'm sure he has some buddies out in Engine Land who have many problems also, but we just take a day at a time and sometimes an hour at a time. God will always help us through enough of this and on to the communications from you fine folks.

This is a very rewarding letter to read; it comes from BILL THURMAN, R.R. #1, Box 226, Archie, Missouri 64725. I think he must be an A-1 person of this day and age. Read on and I believe you will agree.

'I am writing this just to say thanks for such a fantastic hobby.' I am 27 years old and have loved steam engines all of my life. I never dreamed of ever owning one till I was retired, but thanks to many good friends my dream came true last year.

'I had restored old tractors since I was 16,' but it didn't excite me like seeing a steam engine run or hearing it on the belt, so I was always looking for the chance to run one.

'Well, last year at our annual show in Adrian, Missouri (I belong to the Western Missouri Antique Tractor Machinery Association),' I asked why a 1907 18 HP 'U' Peerless engine hadn't been run for several years. I was told the owner, Mr. Jim Courtney, couldn't find anyone to run it. I couldn't believe it that no one had stepped forward, so I wrote him a letter asking if I could help. He not only said I could, but would try to work out a deal with me to buy the engine.