Threshing The Wheat From The Chaff

| November/December 1969

It was nice getting to The National Threshers at Wauseon, Ohio, once again. There were the old friends as well as the new ones to meet. Being the Silver Anniversary, there were the additional ceremonies, the wrestling with problems of electing a new president, vice president and secretary to take over the reins so capably handled by the LeRoy Blakers for a quarter of a century. Then there was the lovely reception held for the retiring Blakers for whom a very impressive cake had been baked with a Port Huron Engine adorning the center of the top icing. Many and long were the handshakes, the well-wishes, the years of happy memories from the folks who'd come from many states to attend and pay their due respects.

Then, too, there stopped by those who'd remembered the article about the sea salt and wanted to tell us it was doing them some good already. But one of the happiest occasions was the Editor-Chaplain, Elmer Ritzman and party who made it again, as promised, and had already set up their Album stand beside us. We never argue, but just visit and let the world pass us by while the aroma of engine oil and coal smoke perfume the atmosphere.

I asked Elmer if he got a good whiff of steam engine smoke and oil and he said, 'Yes I did. If I hadn't I'd have probably died.'

Noteworthy was 85 year old Mr. Coonrad of Iowa a well-known fixture around the Mt. Pleasant Reunion who said the sea salt was making him feel better and was so glad he was able to make the trip to Wauseon for the Silver Anniversary. How I later regretted not taking a picture of this rugged and outstanding old Iron Man for a future write-up. But so many things were transpiring at once, we had to do just what we were able in the few days we had.

Iron Man Coonrad said he just had to come and smell the steam engine smoke, once again.

'When I get too old to go to these reunions, I'll just pour some engine oil and wood ashes in a pan and heat them on a stove so I can enjoy the aroma,' is the way Iron Man Coonrad said it.


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