'THE GENTLE PERSUASION'


| November/December 1956



Oceanside, California

As a consequence I am still receiving mail and visits from people who have read about it, and I didn't really know that one engine could cause so much excitement.

The fair scene was filmed on an immense sound stage out at Republic Studios. With its high wooden false smokestack, it was far the most dominating thing in the scene, even with hundreds of actors milling around. Of the thousands of publicity photos made during the shooting of the picture, a great many of them were taken in the vicinity of the engine, showing it from every conceivable angle.

It seemed to me that Gary Cooper, with his western background must have felt right at home with such an engine, and one of these days I hope to discuss it with him.

It happens that I am a country guy from the neighborhood of Rochester, Minnesota. I have had a furniture business here in Oceanside for the past ten years. I always wanted an engine, because as a youth I had been a water boy for such an engine out in the fields. I finally got this engine from John Hale, a railroad engineer in Rochester, who had owned it for three years. Hale got it from Wausau, Wisconsin, where it had been in use in a lumber camp.

None of us know exactly how old it is, but we are still trying to find out. One thing we do know ... it runs. Here at Oceanside, I found Bill Ogle, a retired engineer who had considerable experience operating such engines. Bill comes from the lumber mills at Wausau, where this engine had been used. I also found Jim Childs, a Master Sergeant in the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, a younger fellow, who comes from a farm in Nebraska, where he had also been around such engines. These two men usually help me whenever we run an engine. Then there happened into my store, Mr. William Francis, a corrosion engineer from the How E. Baker Co., Los Angeles, and Mr. Francis gave it a thorough inspection. We found that although the engine was built to carry 175 lbs. of steam, it would be wise, for reasons of safety, to keep it set at 125 lbs. This would give us 16 hp. The question of getting enough coal was a serious one, and