The Ladies Page

Country Echoes

| July/August 1967


Not always is ye Iron Man the beefy, bulging-bicep kind of critter bedecked in oily overalls, cheek pouched with leaf-scrap and chewing on a 'two far'. Sometimes he is the little, sinewy fellow who mingles quietly with the crowd at the summertime thresherman's reunion as he goes from job to job doing what comes naturally.

But let an engineer any engineer belt up to a separator any separator, somewhere on the reunion grounds and it will be ready to whir, because the quiet little fellow has been there before, greasing, oiling, making all the necessary repairs and adjustments.

Let the engines bark, separating the golden grain from the chaff his hand is on the blower, heaping the straw stack higher and higher into the summer-blue sky.

Let the noontime crowds swell till the gate keeps can't keep apace of the free-for-all scramble to snatch a prize seat at the grandstand parade. A spidery little figure steeple-jacks his way down from the machinery and hops like a cricket, dodging engines and tractors as he bee-lines it to the ticket booth across the way. With the wave of an arm and a sly, friendly grin from ear to ear, you know you are welcome because Carlton Felger, charter member of the National Thresherman's Association, has already punched your ticket and waved you on.

He's one of the right-hand men of President LeRoy Blaker of N.T.A., is Carlton Felger, rare admixture of the diplomat and mechanic, spreading oil on troubled waters as he goes from chore to chore, smoothing out difficulties between engineers and engines, armed with nothing but pliers, pipe wrenches and a smile.

One of the most unobtrusive, unassuming of men, Carlton Felger can bring the sunshine to any steam threshersmen's reunion even on a cloudy, rainy day. The slightly stooped but always meditative figure of Iron Man Felger, like a spirit of goodwill among iron men and iron monsters, lends proof sufficient that everything at the National Thresher-men's Reunion is running well or soon will be.