The Best Part: All Kinds Of Response To My Article

By Staff
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701 Park Forest Garland, Texas 75042.

You may have ‘created a monster’ here you know, now that
I’ve gotten an even bigger ‘kick’ from seeing my letter
published as an article in the October ’88 GEM! The only other
time that happened was when I sent photos to a model railroading
magazine many moons ago and they got published. Oh yeah, there was
that picture I took of a wreck while a stringer for UPI at the
Indianapolis 500. It was spread around the nation too but my name
wasn’t on it. They all have been an unexpected source of
enjoyment for me and I’ll tell you, the best part was getting
all kinds of response from all the (pardon the use of your name,
but it fits) GEMS- those marvelous gas engine men out there who
took the time to call or sit down and write to me about ‘my
article.’ I feel a number of new friendships brewing because of
them and because you chose to run my letter as a separate piece.
Thanks for that.

The ‘GEMS’ (there I go again- can’t resist a good
pun) that called or wrote were a big help in answering the mystery
of the unshrouded chugger. The really interesting part of that was
that as it answered questions, it raised more, which has sparked me
on. Yes, my engine is a Briggs &. Stratton, model BR6, guessed
to be about 1939.I had contacted an advertiser of yours whose ad
promised parts for the old 770 Clinton I was making run, and he
identified the Briggs from a picture. He wrote back saying he had a
shroud for it too. It was a pleasure dealing with him, Gregg
Harrell, in Indiana, as parts arrived quickly and at a reasonable
cost. I hope the other suppliers whom I plan to use are as
satisfactory. Anyway, the Big Briggs, as I call it, went together.
I got a condenser out of my ’56 Mercury and went with four
other engines to the first meet I ever showed at, that was
Gainesville, Texas, September 1989. It was also the first one at
all for me since mid-seventies trips to the Rushville, Indiana
show.

I took a couple of interested friends with me and we all had a
ball! The day was hot, but lots of trees helped. There were some of
the most beautifully restored machines I ever saw- tractors,
engines and associated machinery. The demonstrations, such as rope
making, were fascinating. I plan to attend as many more of these
shows within about a 6 hour drive as I can, and to collect a few
more old iron mills to show. The best part of all this was the
people-good, earthy, friendly people with whom I felt really at
home. This includes the caller-inners and letter-writers previously
mentioned, too.

About the engines, I’m hoping to see more iron from the more
recent period such as I have in articles and letters. I like the
old hit &. miss, and steam has always been a passion
(locomotives, though). The tractors are often awe-inspiring but I
just don’t have the room, back, or pocket-book for much more
than a few of the small ones. This practically eliminates, for me,
the other good stuff. There’s probably a broad and gaining
interest in the engines of the 30’s to 50’s which are
doable now. After all, that makes ’em 30 to 60 years old which
ain’t exactly new! They’re still reasonably plentiful,
reasonably priced and mostly running out of time. So, the old adage
‘make hay while the sun shines’ surely applies here.
Nonetheless, I hope to find a few hit &. miss, exposed crank,
1-2 HP, to show also and I’m sure that’ll come with time
and as my circumstances change.

One thing I know for sure, the sight and sound of an old engine
that hasn’t hit a lick in years sitting on the shop floor just
purring away is all the reward I need. The rest is icing on the
cake, though I have always been fond of sweets! Shows are such a
wonderful way of sharing these things and I thank you for having a
magazine as fine as GEM to expand the sharing. Keep up the good
work. I’ve included a photo of a part of my brood for use as
you please. Sorry there are none of the Gainesville show to share
but the camera, with film, was stolen shortly thereafter and not
recovered.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines