REFLECTIONS

A Brief Word


| March/April 2001



Unidentified Engine

Well, here we are in early January having outlived one of the snowiest Decembers to come along in several years (at least here in eastern Iowa). Quite by coincidence, we came across some old photos of a gigantic snow blower mounted on a special car, and pushed by two or three locomotives. We can only imagine what it was like to have watched that machine clearing the tracks. One can barely imagine what it was like for those fellows out there operating those machines. For ye olde Reflector, there would have been no way to have enough clothes, boots, and mittens to stay warm.

We also recall people talking about some of the bad winters of the 1930s. One year, our town was completely isolated. Finally a huge gathering of townspeople armed with shovels scooped out about two miles of road by hand so that traffic could get to a major highway. The only piece of power equipment available was a No. 10 Caterpillar grader with a V-plow on the front, and it was not at all capable of bucking those huge drifts. Eventually a Cat 60 was located with a dozer blade, and it was used to widen the path. For those living in warm climates and having never experienced midwestern winters, you have no idea what you have missed!

By the time this copy is in your hands, our group of 36 will be getting ready to leave for the Australian engine and tractor tour. We're all excited about it, and hope to bring back some nice photos to share with everyone.

Once again, we ask that if you send us an e-mail, that you also include your regular postal address! It is impossible for people with no email to be of any help to you otherwise!

This month we begin with:

36/3/1 Unidentified Engine