Box 193 C, Rt. 1 Davisville, WV 26142
I have an answer for the delightful poem 'An Engine Widow's Lament' by Karen Woofenden of Brattleboro, Vermont (July, 1986 GEM). I also say 'Bravo, Karen.' I too followed a husband, son, and three grandsons from one engine show to another 'til one fine day things changed.
I got the Maytag engine to our old family washing machine out and cleaned it up inside and out. I told my son that I would paint some flowers on it and join the gang at the next steam and gas engine show. My long, hairy-legged son said NO engine should have flowers painted on it. Indeed, he would NOT man any engine that had pink paint and rosebuds painted on it! I very sweetly informed him that I manned that engine when he was a wee baby to wash his 'you know whats', and I could man it again, even though I'm past seventy.
So I painted it a beautiful engine green, polished the brass plate, etc. I decorated it all over with gold leaves on trailing brown vines and white daisies with yellow centers. I printed me a sign calling it Granny's Li'l Putt-Putt Used since 1929. And you wouldn't believe the peaceful enjoyment of setting up my Putt-Putt, anchoring it to the ground, putting up my Granny sign, unfolding my chair, then leaning back and just listening. I hear whacking engines, hissing engines, loud engines all around me, but Granny's Li'l Putt-Putt just keeps saying 'chuk-prrrrr, chuk-prrrrr, chuk-prrrrr.' And I remember how easy I could get my washing done and out on the line fifty years ago.
My little Maytag engine feels real proud, I know, to be dressed up in garlands of daisies, and maybe it has forgiven me for making it run the washer full of knitty-gritty you know whats.
How sweet it was and is today. You are right, Karenso let's join 'em!