Steam Engine Bug Bites Nine Year Old


| July/August 1991



Engine

On parade in Lacombe.

7712 Jasper Ave Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5H 3R8

In 1902 my parents, Jacob and Anna Slemko, homesteaded on land located five miles east and one and a half miles north of Smoky Lake, Alberta. I, John Slemko, was born and raised on this homestead.

In those days, threshing machines were very scarce. I remember one year they purchased a small threshing machine, hand-fed type, that ran with a small gasoline engine. They even threshed with this machine from under one foot of snow. They threshed what was left of the crops because prairie chickens by the thousands were feeding on the stooks.

This 65 Horsepower 1916 J.I Case engine is owned by John Slemko of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The engine came from Shelby, Montana, and is in almost -brand-new condition. It carries 165 pounds p.s.i. Wherever John goes he wins first place, including the Edmonton Klondike Parade and the Calgary Stampede Parade. For more about John's love of steam engines

I remember that Dad would hitch up the horses to the sleigh and take me and his 12-guage shotgun out to the field. Dad would then line me up with the horses in between two rows of stooks, and I would steer the horses in that direction. Then, from the stooks he would begin to shoot prairie chickens, two or three per shot. Later, we would come home with 15 to 20 prairie chickens in a box. Mother cleaned and prepared these birds and everyone had chicken to eat.

Other times, my dad went hunting and brought back a dozen rabbits. It was my brothers' and sisters' job to skin and pull the hide off the rabbits. I remember taking the slimy skinned rabbit and chasing my sisters with it; sometimes they got smeared and began to cry. We had a ball then. There was no such thing as a shortage of meat.