BRANDON WISCONSIN R R-2 ZIP-53919
The voice of Col. Ingraham is rising and falling in an effortless chant of the auctioneer's song. The belongings of our beloved Steam Engine Brother, Walter Kienow, are being sold. We arrived early and the truck is parked so that I have a ring-side seat.
There is a certain sadness connected with an auction of this kind. And now the rain has begun to fall and the crowd is dispersing or moving inside the building. A large whistle just sold for $120.00.
It was only a shower, this we soon learn. The sun is again shining down on this rather unusaul crowd. Steam Engine Joe is right in the front row buying steam guages at the moment. I see many familiar faces among the large steam engine family, and there are some bib-overalled figures from the past.
But there are ladies here too. wives and even grandaughters of our Steam Engine Men. (Notice? I capitalized Them) They are special, aren't they? Leaning against the fender of our truck is a nice red-haired, freckle-faced girl, and a taller one with equally lovely brown hair and pretty brown eyes. They have a nice little brother under their care, it seems, and he is giving them the usual trouble that little brothers can give. They tend him with a mixture of irritation and sisterly love.
People are walking here and there with the treasures they are acquiring. I am rather prone to leave the restful security of this truck seat to mingle with the bidders for I am just recovering from graduating a daughter.
Have just had a nice visit with Mrs. Earl Anderson of Friendship, Wisconsin. She has a grandaughter with her too, a blonde.
Between showers it is very hot. I have to move out in the open. Now I am sitting on the drawbar of a modern red tractor which apparantly is also for sale. Mrs. Frank Riese of Monticello is occupying the other side. It is a good thing the drawbar is strong. We are both sizeable ladies. Grandson Bucky seems happy up on the seat. He is keeping her busy.
Among the men I met were John Schoeder of Waupaca, a contractor there. For pets he has 18 to 20 gas tractors, among them the fourth International made and the third one sold. He also owns a 20 H.P. Minneapolis and a 20 H.P. Nicholas Shepperd. Met Luzerne King of Beaver Dam who works in Busse Bros., a can handling shop there. However we got on the subject of bird watching and forgot all about steam as he informed me that tree swallows need an inch and three quarters door in their house before they will habitate near you. Also visited with William Babcock and Paul Ruck of Pardeyville. I believe that was while we were inspecting an odd old garden tractor with treads like a modern caterpillar. This was most unusual.
It seems good to sit as I type this off. Have started our youngest daughter on a trip to Kansas City to visit her married sister and her family. She has just graduated from High School and that is a big affair. But there is something connected with her graduation I will never live down.
Mary was in the upper ten percent of her class. We must have some pictures. Soarmed with camera and flash bulbs I left home. Had I known, well I don't know. I never dreamed I was going to make a fool of myself.
A front seat was available. I was overjoyed. I used Alfred's pocket for my flash bulbs. Mary had asked me, 'Could you get a slide of me getting my diploma?'
'I'll try,' I promised.
The moment came, I walked as close as I dared and sort of crouched down on my haunches, snapped the picture, and straightened up. But THEN I did the wrong thing, I stepped back. Right back of me was another man taking pictures too. I wonder what he thought. I am not transparent. My poor husband said that in that split second he had horrible thoughts of how I would look, feet up in the air rolling backwards over that man. (I wonder what the man would have looked like, poor soul?)
From what the family said was an unbelievable angle I straightened myself around and got to my seat. Talk about embarrassment!. The audience on our side of the gymnasium got a good laugh out of it and I had a red, red face. But one thing I gained from the episode. The family have decided I can move faster than they ever thought I could. I had heels on too. What if they had hit that man's head? I haven't learned who he is.
But getting back to steam engines, the day following the auction we drove about twenty miles east of our home. This is the farm location of a busy steam man, Bernard Klein-schmidt, and his wife Dorothea. They are again putting on their own steam show in August. A man was busy refueling an engine. Was he black when he crawled out of the firebox!
Dorothea, in true woman fashion dug a clump of her white flowering perrenials for my garden. Isn't it nice to share our gardens and plant memories? This year an Alaskan Red Lily is in my garden. I can't wait for it to blossom. It is from a pen pal there.
But now, on to the Steam Day. This year the idea will be used to show the progression of the task of harvesting grain from the first crude reaper to horse power, then on to steam, followed by gas driven tractors both with threshing machines, and finally combines.
The Kleinschmidts will be displaying a power wheel operated by ten prilling ponies supplied by the Cooks of Evansville, Wisconsin. The ponies will furnish the power to run a twenty inch Case hand fed threaher. This I want to see.
Something I learned afresh this past weekend that if you keep a thing long enough it will probably be of more value than it was when it was new. So it should be with our faith in God. It should become constantly more valued., more precious, as we journey toward the culminative years. I have no doubt whatsoever that Heaven will be the most interesting and fascinating place we can imagine. My! I can't begin to see everything intriguing here on earth! And some people are bored. How can it be?
Two of my close friends have been lamenting the fact that their last children will be leaving home this fall and 'What will they do?' It reminds me of a story I heard one time. A middle aged mother was crying about her last departing chick. She wailed,' Oh Papa, you are all I have left now. What am I going to do?' to which the dear patient man replied, 'Well, Mama, that's all you had to start out with. You seemed satisfied then. What's the matter with me now?'
And couldn't we say the same thing about God? He is all we had to start out with, He created us. In the present world situation He is all we have left. I wonder why our people decide, day after day, that they don't need Him now, in fact some are saying He is dead He who controls every breath we breathe. Even Steam Engine Men must draw their last and sell what they cherished on earth.
If I could convince one person of the joy of being a an In-The-Family Christian it would mean everything to me. Start a family altar, then let me know, won't you? I wouldn't use your name in the column. Life is for sharing joys and sorrows. Be seeing you some day away off yonder.
Special to The Iron-Men Album
The first annual Antique Threshing Show at the Agricultural Hall of Fame and National Center, Bonner Springs. Kansas, will be held on August 27-28, according to Fred Leighton, Administrator.
Plans are now being formulated to include many side attractions such as a horse-pulling contest on Sunday, the 28th, archery demonstrations, old car parade, plus the standard attractions of an 1898 steam operated Merry-go-round for the kiddies, an old peanut and popcorn machine in operation, and 'Old-Tex', the 2,000 lb. Texas Longhorn steer.
Elmo Mahoney, curator, said he plans to have horse-drawn hay wagons in use for the threshing, which will be continuous both days. Also, the old tractors and other steamers not used for threshing will be in operation, some hauling people around the grounds of the 275-acre lay-out.
Adult admission of $1 includes a tour of the exhibition hall which contains thousands of artifacts of early farm and ranch living in the United States.
The Agricultural Center is located on the Kansas Turnpike, 12 miles west of Kansas City and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. including Sundays and holidays.