The Ladies page

Jimmy and His Favorite Engine

Courtesy of Paul E. Metzinger, Box 234, Ambia. Indiana 17917.

Paul E. Metzinger

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It just doesn't seem possible that 'that time' has rolled around once a-gain. The days seem to go by so fast. They say that is a sign of old age. Thanksgiving will be here in a few days, when we will all count our blessings and give special thanks, each in our own way. The stores are all displaying their Christmas wares and decorations, (they don't even wait until after Thanksgiving anymore). We have had some snow, enough to remind us what is ahead. As usual, the first storm found many people unprepared, so there was quite a few small accidents and traffic tie-ups, especially in the city.

There has been a lot of news in the papers lately about the school strikes. It has finally been settled, I guess. I am reminded of my school days, which I imagine is comparable to that of many of you.

We lived in the country on the top of a hill. To go to the one room country school house, it was necessary to go down that hill and right up another one. Of course, this was repeated again at night. It was taken as a matter of fact that this three mile daily walk would be undertaken. If the weather was very bad, rain or deep snow, my Father or a school mate's Father would pick us up. As I remember, this didn't happen too often, as there was always chores to do and other matters to tend to on the farm.

Our district school was a one room building with an attached woodshed and two 'little buildings' out back. It was situated at the edge of a woodlot, which served as an excellent place for nature trips. It was necessary to carry water in a pail from a neighboring farm about a quarter mile away. Two of us would take turns at this chore everyday. The last few years which I attended, there was a drilled well and indoor plumbing.

The building was heated with a pot belly stove. As usual, with this set up, one roasted in the middle of the room and froze a ways away. I remember that the top of the stove was flat and in the winter, we would bring potatoes, onions and milk from home and the teacher would make potato soup for a hot lunch.

I had two teachers while I was there. They taught the eight grades in all the necessary subjects. The younger ones could take advantage of hearing the older children recite. In this way, several of us could skip a grade or two. I do not recommend this, as when the time arrives to go to High School or College, the student is younger than the others, and this makes a big difference.

The first two or three years of High School, there was no bus transportation provided. My sister went to town to seventh grade, when I entered High School. We could ride the three miles in the morning, when my parents took the milk to the station. Usually, someone would pick us up at night if the weather was bad, otherwise we walked.

At our house, Paul is working on another of his air cooled engines. This time it is a Model 11 Briggs and Stratton.

This is Jimmy and his favorite engine. It was on a Jaeger cement mixer. We have it running now and painted it light blue, so he calls it Big Blue.

15 HP Fairbanks-Morse, Model Z tank cooled S/n 570886, heavy flywheels. Owned and restored by Houston L. Herndon. This engine and 16 other engines 10 HP and over will be running at the Florida American Royal Gas and Steam Engine Round-UP February 8th and 9th, 1969.

Henry Ford's first tractor with 1904 Model B engine - in Ford Museum.