SOOT IN THE FLUES


| November/December 1989



Soot in the flues

Hi Folks! Hope you have enjoyed the 1989 steam engine season and all the fun that goes with it the shows, the folks, the wonderful friendships and perhaps some new knowledge you have attained. Keep steamin' and in keeping with the Thanks giving and Christmas seasons, I would like to tell the following story written by Loren Young, taken from The Guideposts Christmas Treasury it is called 'That Ageless Magic' enjoy and perhaps it will make you think of some of the little deeds you might have had part in, and that wonderful feeling of reward:

One recent Christmas I was visiting my parents who live in a mining community in West Virginia. Times were bad; many of the mines had been shut down. As I walked down to the main part of the town to pick up a few last-minute things, I noticed a lame man seated on the cold sidewalk. He had a small tin cup which he held up, hopefully, but few people noticed him, or if they did, they didn't let on.

I could see that one leg was missing. Not an unusual sight in a mining community, but a heartbreaking sight especially on Christmas Eve.

I started toward him reaching into my pocket. In front of me, a young couple stopped near the lame man. The husband, obviously a miner, and his wife were talking in half whispers.

'Please, please,' she was saying. He grimaced, unsure.

'We have our Christmas for us and the kids in these bags,' she pleaded. 'Let's do it, please.' The young husband looked down at his wife. Slowly, a smile came over his face and he agreed.