SOOT IN THE FLUES


| September/October 1970



Steam Tractor

''Father John Bouvier celebrating Mass in the barn of the William Nash farm, Route 2 Winchester, Indiana, at the conclusion of blessing of the farms, May 5, during Rogation days. Note steam tractor in background built in 1920a 40 hp. #34957 owned formerl

William Nash

My how the clock does tick off the minutes and memories! Here we are half way through the summer which means half way through the reunions. I do hope you folks who are avid steam and gas fans are 'really living it up' at the get-togethers. I suppose many of you are trying to cool off in the shade of a giant steamer while having some hot discussions of the mechanisms and workings of the big and little monsters.

You know we could compare a Reunion to the modern Rock Festivals with some of the same words, but different meanings. For example, the Music would be the barking of the little engines or the shrill screams of the whistles on the various sized engines, or perhaps the more melodious tune from a rare calliope. Pot would be the potbellied stoves on display in the many old fashioned kitchens or perhaps the contour of a well experienced engineman. Smoke - lots of it from the assorted stacks on the engines, or grills in the kitchens and a few Sparks from the gab sessions. Trips - many of them taken on the grand old renovated engines of yesteryear that helped shape the future of our country sometimes I wonder if we would have been better off if we were not so progressive. Drugs oh yes, we have them at the Reunions too for I'm sure as much as the folks all love these meetings there are headaches and many aspirin downed AND plenty of folks looked drugged with the fantasy and ecstasy of the performances of these regal Queens in action. Nudity is the bare facts of how and why these machines function so well and look so beautiful. And when it's all over, the crowd disperses and heads towards home with many happy memories and richer friendships bonded for future rallies and with more knowledge to apply to that building or remodeling that engine they have been tinkering with in their spare hours. Unlike the Rock Festivals where the news media tells us so many nurses and doctors are needed and many folks end up in the hospitals and with many bad memories.

There is a picture in this issue of a priest blessing the farms. The picture comes from William Nash, R. R. 2, Winchester, Indiana 47394, and I thought it was quite different I had never heard of it done before. The snap was taken in a barn and it stated it was done during Rogation Days. These days are the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Ascension Day, observed as days of special supplication.

Let me remind you good people to try and get your show reports in as early after the show as possible. We had quite a few in the last issue. This makes it too long to wait, actually. So get them in pronto and not right before next year's show. This is to your own advantage, don't you think??

As we've stated before Elmer is staying in the Blue Ridge Haven West, 770 Poplar Church Road, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17011, but when possible he goes home and on June 19th he had a great experience as some good steam friends came and got he and Earlene and took them to Dillsburg for an enjoyable day where Elmer was thrilled once again to be at the throttle of an engine. Many thanks go to The Berkheimer's and The Strayers for their kindness in providing such an exhilarating day for the Ritz-mans. Pictures and story of this exciting day are in this issue.

I really don't have much more to add this time and since we have a full copy I'll not take up anymore space. Do enjoy each day and God Bless You.