A Special Friend


| November/December 1994



Rt 2, Box 295-A, Kearney, Nebraska 68847

The first time I met my Special Friend was at a hobby and craft show in Wilcox, Nebraska. He was running a little ? scale Case steam engine, which I fell in love with immediately. Having grown up in Kearney, Nebraska, I had my first encounter with little ? scale Case steam engines when I was about eight. One was owned by Ed Jacobs of Smith Center, Kansas and one belonged to Emil Baden hoop. I was entranced by these little engines, but after a few years my interests changed and contact with these engines disappeared. Therefore at the age of 25, to meet this Special Friend running a ? scale engine, it was only natural that a wonderful friendship of 17 years would begin.

A year later this little community had another show and again my Special Friend was there with his little Case. This time I asked more questions. He answered willingly our bond was growing! The show was over and as I was ready to leave. He said, 'Come see me sometime.' (Are your kidding? I could hardly wait!) The day came (what joy!). I met his wife and she jokingly said, 'Oh, you're another one of those crazy engine guys.' Well, as a matter of fact, yes, I guess I am. We drove out to his farm, he opened the door to a little garage and there sat the little Case and about half a dozen gas engines. We talked, my interest level grew to new highs, then I asked the big question? Will you sell it ? He said, 'No, no, not yet, but maybe someday.' My heart began pumping normal. We visited more, then it was time to go. I said goodbye and hope to see you soon.

As I drove home, I knew that I just had to have a steam engine. When I got home that evening, I opened up my Iron Men Album and began to read the 'for sale' section. There were no scale models, but wait the ad said 'for sale one 60 HP Case steam engine.' Then I thought, why not make a call to the owner? Yes, why not? I might just as well learn with a full size. I called my Special Friend, and asked him. He replied, 'You're interested in what? Sure, I'd love to ride along.' Victory at last! An engine was mine, and our bond grew!

That fall my Special Friend approached me with an idea, 'Would you still be interested in the little ? scale? I would like to buy one of Ternings scale Case's so I'll sell you the ? scale, if you're still interested.' I said okay!

The next summer brought the estate sale of Roy Kite's engines. I didn't need another engine, but I called my Special Friend and said, 'Let's go, we can always eat some pie.' The pie sold well, but not all of the engines. I bought the 65 Case, why not? We needed something to talk about on the way home.