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For me, I'm glad I grew up in the Hills and to know the joy
of a life of a hillbilly. I loved the hill so steep that made the
old engine puff slower but stronger on and on up to the top when
like a conquering hero the sound of that pretty chime whistle that
sounded the 'Glory of Conquering Steam.'
Let me say here that we had a 6 hp. engine and an 8 hp. A 12
horsepower engine was really big bigger than that was a bridge
buster and we heard big stories of way out West in Texas. The
long-horn cattle were driven off. The prairies were plowed by
steam. In year of A.D. 1908, I landed in Plainview, Texas, and
there in plain sight was a giant on wheels, a big Reeves 32 hp.
could pull fourteen 14-inch plows. Put in a fire, look back and see
14 furrows at 3 miles an hour, yet by first of July we had that old
32 hp. Reeves just a lazying along on a long belt to a 36 inch
separator. I later became owner of a 32 hp. cross compound Reeves.
I used it exclusively for threshing in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
I was lucky for if it is the right Reeves, it can be the best
threshing engine in the field and it can and was often the poorest
for in that time the maker of engines did not know how to balance a
crankshaft that would not only brake. It was hard on bearings. The
counter weights would come loose due to vibration. All makes of
double engines had serious crankshaft trouble. Today we learned to
In Western states we had our own cook shack no ice yet, but our
cooks had wonderful meals ready at 5 a.m. and supper by lamp light.
We slept on the prairie or in barns and really rested we dreamed
dreams that no mortal ever dared to dream before. Sunday we found a
Hold on! I could go on and on with this stuff - time to shut off
steam and oh how I will look for other old, old threshermen whose
story is to me lots better. That will make us want to lengthen our
subscription another five years. The joy, sorrow, busted boilers
and bridges, broken crankshafts, bad water and believe it or not,
romance followed the life of a thresherman. Tell about that too and
most all were happy ever after. So, let us hear you tell the story
over once again. Tell it now, while the world is dying for a little
bit of love and well all join in the chorus.
Watch out if you just hint that what I have written this time is
interesting and steamed up, I just might try to do better next
Bless be the tie that binds the hearts of all we old
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