Story


| September/October 1962



4421 E. Hillcrest Drive, Yakima, Washington

In 1906 there were four threshing rigs that did the bulk of the threshing near Boyden, Iowa. Fred Stark weather had a Buffalo Pitts return flue; Henry Pitstick a Nichols & Sheppard; Ed Mahoney an Advance straight flue and Martin Bennett a Case, (first a center crank, then a 10 x 10, I think).

The Supervising Engineers of the machines were Harry Stark weather, Fred Stark weather, Jr., Bill Bennett and myself. Our ages in the same order were eleven, ten, nine, and eleven.

On Saturdays when the rigs were threshing near enough to town so we could ride our bikes out, we were permitted to feed the straw burners, run the injectors and make general nuisances of ourselves.

One day before the season, Ed Mahoney was working on his separator (babbiting a bearing, I believe) while nearby set the Advance engine with steam up. The Supervising Engineers were on the job getting in the way, and everything was going good when suddenly there was a bang, followed by hissing steam. The Super E's headed for some shade trees near and hid behind them. Ed, of course, ran to the engine to shut off the cocks above and below the water glass, which had blown.

When he started back to the separator he saw the Engineers coming out from behind the trees with a sheepish look on their faces and we sure heard plenty about - how, just when we were needed to take care of a situation we were nowhere around.