Well, all you folks who get the Gas Engine Magazine know our new little grandchild has made his appearance - a wonderful little boy born May 12 and weighed in at 8 lb. 4? oz. 21? in. and named Ryan Robert Fortenbaugh and has already won all our hearts. And on June 3rd we had a wonderful experience as Eddie, Kathi, daughter Stacy Jo and the new little fellow, Lance, came to visit us and we all got together ooh and aahing over the two newest members of the families. Lance was three months old the day they visited and so of course knew much more about the world than little cousin, Ryan. And of course, Stacy, who is now 2? is just full of questions and some pretty good answers too. It all made for an enjoyable family reunion. Thank God for these moments.
A belated congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. William S. Graves who celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on May 15. (Yes, I said 65 years of married life). Mr. Graves is a retired thresher and saw mill man and at the age of 92 still walks to town and reads the newspaper without glasses. Mrs. Graves still enjoys cooking and baking and keeps her cooky jar full of homemade cookies. They both enjoy greeting cards. They were parents of three children - the oldest, Leora Pearl died at the age of three months. They have two sons, Rev. Virgil O. Graves of Philadelphia, Missouri and Wilbur S. Graves of Ewing. They have six grandsons and 13 great grandchildren. They both have attended the Reunion, for many years and thoroughly enjoy it. In 1967, they rode in the surrey drawn by little mules, to lead the parade and were introduced as 'Very Distinguished Guests'. Their sons and families enjoy the reunion and the second son, Wilbur S. Graves is building a steam engine. May we add our very good wishes to this wonderful couple.
Mrs. C. A. Harsch of E. 9915 Trent Ave., Spokane, Washington 99207 sent us this letter and she entitled it OOPS! (It's well worth reading). 'The steam engine man nudged his steamer near a refreshment stand, got off and sauntered over to a table, ordered coffee, pie and a hamburger. Just as he was seated, three wise young fellows roared up on their motorcycles, parked their bikes next to the innocent looking steamer and strode over to the refreshment stand - bent on some kind of mischief. Seeing the husky looking engine man just being served, one of the cyclists grabbed his coffee, another one latched onto the pie while the third fellow took his hamburger. All three sat down on the bench and started enjoying themselves.
'The engine man got up, paid the bill and walked off. A fellow at the far end of the bench says to his buddy, 'Gee, that engineer isn't much of a man to let them get away with that!'
'Just then the cook looks up and says, 'Yea, and he ain't much of an engineer either, cause he just backed over three motorcycles.'
I take it to mean this was a true incident and the three young fellows found their lunch quite costly - and so be it! Seems to me I hear quite a few chuckles out there!
My good friend, Hollis Cortelyou of Higgins, Texas 79046 sends this along: He has it titled, 'An Engineer's Engineer' - How do old timers feel about steam locomotives? Listen to D. Stewart Beals, 104 Lycane Rd., Bellefonte, Ashland, Kentucky, who has been in Chesapeake & Ohio engine service for 50 years. -
'Since I was promoted to engineer in 1910,' he writes, 'I have run practically every class of power the C & O had, including all 90 engines in the K4-2700 Class. My favorites were Nos. 2725, 2726 and 2727. Just after the builders delivered the 2727 to us at Ashland, I ran her on a maiden trip. Since then I handled her often - until the diesels put her out of service.
This engine had a soul. She was more alive than a big chunk of metal. Many a night I would run her on manifest or time freight, with 100 to 150 loads behind her, stepping through the dark countryside while the rest of the world seem to be asleep. Her stack crackled like a machine-gun. Her headlight bored a hole in the night, the signals coming up green. I would lean out the cab window and listen to her talk in a language that only she and I could understand.
The retirement of No. 2727 saddened me, but I was relieved when they sent her to the Museum of Transport at St. Louis instead of the scrap pile. If I am ever fortunate enough to visit St. Louis, I will look up my old friend and sit on the engineer's seat once more.'
That except came from Railroad Magazine of about 1951 during the changeover from steam to diesel power on the railroads - and Mr. Cortelyou's comment - 'I rate Mr. Baals an engineer's engineer!'
Hollis also added this note - 'During the above period the Santa Fe 'House Organ' in a farewell to their 5,000 and 2900 Class steamers, quote, 'They would do everything the Diesel would do in service, except in operating cost.'
I think it's interesting we have a short story and two pictures from one of our servicemen in Vietnam - Gerald Myers - one picture you can see some of the men in the background - makes me feel awed and humble - you stop and think of one of them being interested in our little old magazine and then taking the time to get the photos and story - well, I can't express myself - maybe you can feel what I mean.
We've had some requests from men that say they have sent us pictures and stories and wondering why they are not in. Upon checking these, we just don't have them. Now, some could be lost in the mails, but another solution is to check and see if this is the magazine they were sent to as Irene says more than once a man has written about something in the magazine and it wasn't our magazine at all - it was another hobby magazine they had sent the material to. We do our best not to lose the mail or throw it away. If pictures are not suitable, I'll return them telling you why. Please bear with us.
Another thing - when you send us newspaper articles and pictures, we must have written permission from the authority of the newspaper or magazine to reprint. If this is not in the letter, we must assume you want us just to see the article because of interest to us.
John A. Hinkle, R. D. 2, East Berlin, Pennsylvania writes us a letter referring to the picture on page 50 of the July-Aug. 69 issue. - 'The Tri-level Railroad crossing in Richmond, Virginia has been there a long time. In March, 1914, I came up from Florida on the Seaboards Railroad-and saw it then. This 6th of May, 1969, I saw it from the highway. I was the first person around her to go to Florida. I went down in Nov. 1912.'
Thanks John for your nice little note and I thought the picture was an unusual one.
A nice letter from one of our family comes from LeRoy Pilling, 611 D. Ave., National City, California 92050 who writes: 'Will try and write you a line or two - please discontinue my subscription to Iron-Men Album as my eyes have failed me much. I love to read it and cannot and I have nobody to read it to me. I believe I have three more issues coming. Keep the money and give the magazine to someone who can read them. I sure want to give you all the good ' words I can for the wonderful magazine. Keep up the good work. I will think of ' you quite often. I have all the issues ever since I started taking it some sixteen years ago. I have them all filed as they came. Please keep up the good work and may God Bless. As ever - your friend - Leroy.'
Wasn't that nice, but sad too, gee, its a shame these things have to happen to folks. Best of luck to you too Leroy, and may you find some other medium of enjoyment - perhaps the radio?
And while all the steam buffs are out enjoying the reunions, I hate to bring it up but this is the Sept-October issue and that means when this comes out it won't be too long until school bells will be ringing, and by that time the kids will be glad to get back to school even though they will be growling about it all the time.
And in closing remember - A sharp tongue is no indication of a keen mind. - The rest of your days depend on the rest of your nights. - There is one discouraging thing about the rules of success -they won't work unless you do. - If you worked for your employer as you serve God, how long would you hold your job?