Another Old Iron Lover


| August/September 2000



3478 Woodlawn Avenue, Haynesville, Louisiana 71038-6202

Recently a friend of mine lent me six copies of GEM, which I enjoyed reading very much, so I sent in my subscription and realized I must be another lover of 'old iron.' To verify my belief I will list below some of my experiences with 'old iron' from the time I was a boy of nine until my present age of 71.

Age 9-11, I caught rides on wagons hauling cotton to the gin, and spent hours investigating all the engines and equipment throughout the gin. Very few belt guards were used those days, so I'm lucky I came out alive. During ginning season, the engines ran day and night.

When I was 12 to 13, my family had a hay baling operation which consisted of an F-12 Farmall tractor, large Case pickup baler with a Waukesha engine, Model A Ford automobile, Model B Ford truck, hay mower, rakes, homemade cooking and a sleeping trailer and six-man crew. I drove the tractor that pulled the hay baler. We baled hay for the public, sometimes spending several days at a time baling in bottom lands, camping near a creek, sometimes catching fish for our evening meal called 'supper' in the South.

At age 14 the summer, during World War II, I worked as a delivery boy for a company in Dallas, Texas, that rebuilt engines and sold engine parts. I had a choice of using a new 1941 Plymouth pickup truck or a new three-wheel Harley-Davidson motor cycle. At age 14, guess which one I used the most?

At 15, I stretched the truth about my age and worked in a shell factory in Ft. Worth, Texas, operating various types of lathes, etc. There was a man-shortage, so the employers weren't so strict.