The Ladies Page

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Walter Schippert's Case 60 in parade at Missouri Valley Steam Show, 1971. Courtesy of Walter Schippert, Rocheport, Missouri 65279.
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19 Hp. Port Huron Longfellow compound, No. 8417. Photo taken in 1947. Courtesy of Bruce McCourtney, Syracuse, Nebraska 68446.
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History records that back in the first century there lived a
Roman named Marcus Fabius Quintilianus. His wisdom comes on down to
us under the name of Quintilian. Two books, which he brought forth
during his lifetime, contain the best of Roman thought. His
writings are filled with practical good sense. They are sympathetic
writings with a personal quality, and they bring us insight into
human behavior. Quintilian wanted to accomplish growth both of
character and intellect. This man had something to say about hands.
I quote.

At the December 5, 1971 meeting of the Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer
Power Assn., Inc. it was announced that a Show held in August 13,
14 and 15th, 1971 was very successful and plans are under way for
next years show. Officers were elected as follows: President, Chas.
Harrison from Scio; Francis Young from East Sparta as
Vice-president; Bob Scheetz as Secretary-Treasurer from Massilion;
Dale Prysi of New Phil, as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer and the
Trustees are Jim Sloan and Verle Baker from Dover and Whitey Beechy
from Sugarcreek. Pictured above is Chas. Harrison on the left, the
new President and Walter Luke on the right, the past President.
Taken at the Dover Ohio Fair Grounds. Courtesy of Mrs. R. E. Brown,
Magazine Chairman, Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Power Assn. Inc., 426
Marian Street, Dover, Ohio 44622.

‘Other parts of the body assist the speaker but the hands
speak them selves. By them we ask, promise, invoke, dismiss,
threaten, entreat, deprecate. By them we express fear, joy, grief,
our doubts, assent, or penitence; we show moderation or profusion,
and mark number and time.’ Unquote.

Have you ever had the experience of clasping a human hand only
to have it go completely limp within your own. It is more shocking
than encountering cold, slippery dish water.

During the nineteenth century a woman editor of the Ladie’s
Home Companion had this to say. ‘I love a hand that meets my
own with a grasp that causes some sensation.’ I agree with the
lady. She was Frances Sargent Osgood.

At present our airwaves are advising us to ‘Put your hand in
the hand of the man who stills the water.’ And apparently
people like the idea. The song is a favorite of young and old.

What is there about the human hand which carries so much of a
blessing or a curse. You can strike someone sharply with your hand,
a searing, stinging blow, showing disdain and hatred. But that same
human hand can bless with unspeakable joy. Love can flow through
willing hands in endless contributions of service. Both fathers and
mothers of quality are endlessly using their hands for such

‘Bless the hands which serve this food,’ is no idle
plea. Recently we were invited out for Sunday dinner, and our
friend, Ruth, served an excellent meal. A superbly done turkey was
our main dish. We were hungry for turkey, especially this writer,
and as the electric knife cut those succulent slices the whole
house was filled with anticipation as well as aroma. Loving hands
were doing this.

Then there is this family who often sit ahead of us in church.
They have a little charmer of a daughter. She is about three. Her
hands are so sweet and chubby, and often they are busy patting her
mother’s cheeks, lightly, tenderly, as though here is all love
personified in two caressing small hand’s. I remember so well
the sweet hands of our grown-up little ones, and I grieve at the
inevitable loss. Hands grow, and they never can give back this
experience again.

Probably there is no greater loss in our world than to lose the
reassuring touch of a human hand. One senses this when one visits
homes for our aging citizens. How they cling to your hands! They
seem to need, so desperately, someone to hang onto on the human
level. Care must flow to them through willing hands, for someone to
care for them is their crucial need. They haven’t the strength
to care for themselves.

16 Hp. Russell engine No. 15848 with a Universal boiler. Picture
taken in 1947. Courtesy of Bruce McCourtney, Syracuse, Nebraska

An old friend stated it in these words. ‘There is just
nothing on earth to compare to the touch of the human hand-its
warmth, its compassion, its unutterable comfort.’ When our
grief is too deep for utterance there are still the hands of
friends to take our hands in their own.

I truly believe that the human spirit can shrivel and die
because of the lack of the touch of a loving hand. The body may
live on, an empty suffering shell, but when no hand reaches out to
you in love, life can be of little more value than a broken
pitcher. Creativity can come to a standstill when no one cares.

I remember so well a man telling me that he had started to write
poetry again because he had found a second love after the death of
his first wife. The fountain was flowing again! That is how
important it is to have someone care.

Christ came to earth and blessed with the laying on of hands. He
healed in like manner. Surely we need to put our hand in his
eternal clasp. But while we are here on earth, why not be a little
more giving with our human touch? Let our handshakes be warm and
friendly, our exuberant love pouring out to those whose only
companion is loneliness. The rare spirit of Christmas could then
continue into May. And the warmth of every Steam Reunion I have
ever attended (except one) could bless our whole year. This one
exception was wet down with a bad substitute bottled fun. The sad
part of it is that those who are looking for fun out of a bottle
haven’t experienced the overflowing joy of the Lord. They are
merely looking in the wrong barley shock.

But a hearty handshake also brings joy, a caring hand
compassion, and my writing hand, once again, has brought you
COUNTRY ECHOES. And I hope you are blessed by it. For we shall
always need the strength of one another’s hands.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment