Farm Collector


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

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

‘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

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

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

  • Published on Sep 1, 1969
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