(I realize this is the Jan. & Feb. issue of GEM, but as I am writing this, I'm in the Christmas Spirit!)
Ah! Here it is -- that time again -- we're well on our way towards Christmas of 1969 and I promised myself I'd have most everything done by December 1st -- I didn't make it! As it is I have no cookies baked yet -- the cards aren't done -- the presents are partly wrapped and I'm not even done shopping yet -- not to mention the decorating isn't finished and I wanted to get popcorn for the children to string and a few dozen other things to do -- so one thing I'll say -- it's as usual -- harried, bustling, busy and a BEAUTIFUL time of the year. Just think -- what else is as important as the birth of Jesus? It, can make the war stop -- at least for a day or two -- and why oh why can't the heads of the parties at war make it cease for good if they can stop it for a few days? And we say to our children -- don't fight -- sometimes those words seem empty as we look around at our bickering world. But we must keep faith and believe we are working to the right end.
We're looking forward to a happy Christmas -- Tommie is at an exciting age for the event -- he is five -- and then of course the grandchildren will be here sometime over the Holidays. The youngest one, Ryan, and parents live near and so will be with us Xmas day. Ryan is seven months old and quite aware of the worldly things and interested in finding out all he can about them. Stacy and Lance, 3 years and 9 months, and Mommy and Daddy will be here (we hope) to visit over the Holidays which will be a happy occasion and of course our two at home are 15 and 13 and they too enjoy the festivities. Keli just had a birthday on the 9th of December and after all HAPPINESS is being thirteen.
I thought you'd like to share one of my many moments that I have with the family and so I must tell you -- the other day I had punished Tommie after admonishing him more than once -- you're right, he got a licking, smacking, whipping -- whatever you choose to call it. But he looked up at me and very belligerently said: 'Now, God is mad at you!'
Onto your interesting letters and questions and before I get into that -- do have a lovely Christmas Holiday season -- and we send our Greetings to each and every one of you.
Howard W. Wagenblast, Box 158, R.D. 4, Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601 writes us: 'I believe it would be helpful to many of your readers if GEM magazine would have a short article on the construction of the coils used in the ignition systems of 'hit-or-miss' gas engines. There are some of us who would rather 'roll our own' than use Model T coils, etc. Some helpful information would be: 1 -- wire size, cotton or enamel covered; 2 -- wire turns/inch and how many layers, etc.; 3 -- I.D., O.D., and length; 4 -- cores - iron or air? These factors probably varied with the different manufacturers but there shouldn't be too much difference in electrical properties.'
Howard would also like to know -- 'Is there any particular reason why most fellows use a dry cell battery rather than a wet cell battery for the ignition source on the 'hit or miss' engines?' -- so let's get the writing equipment out fellows and let us hear from you!
A letter from Oscar L. Carson, Route 1, Pleasantville, Pennsylvania 16341 tells us: 'I was interested in seeing the International Portable Engine on the cover of the September-October issue of Gas Engine Magazine as I have one like it. My father bought it new and used it for threshing for many years. We threshed with it until 1946 and then we started using the tractor.'
6 Hp. I.H.C. Famous, just as I found it in Missouri last summer.
Myself and a 1929 Model A Ford pick up that will be carrying the engines to the shows.
Five small ones, waiting their turn for restoration.
W. C. Maupin, Route 1, Box 303, Arbuckle, California 95912 is seeking information -- 'I would like to know if you could tell me anything about the books 'Gas Power,' published in 1914 by Gas Power Publishing Company of St. Joseph, Michigan?' (I'm sure I can't help you, Mr. Maupin, except to put this in the column and hope a reader of our magazine can answer you -- or I was wondering if you would write the Chamber of Commerce in St. Joseph, Michigan -- perhaps they could tell you how to find out about these books anyhow.)
Berton Blazek, Box 147, Rexford, Montana 59930 asks: 'Would you ask if anyone could tell us about the Associated 25 hp. twin engine?' (I've asked -- hope you get your information you are seeking.)
I recently received a letter from Carl W. Koerper, M.D., Wakefield Building, 426-17th St., Oakland 12, California 94612. Doc writes: 'I have a one cylinder gas engine which is used on farms to run water pumps and similar pieces of equipment. It is made by the White Engine Works of Kansas City, Missouri. The plate further reads -- 35 horsepower No. B38705, Speed 530. Where can I obtain information about this engine? I would like to restore it.' I hope some of you fine contributors to the GEM will be able to help Dr. Koerper with his project.
Andy Michels, 402 Highland Avenue, Plenty wood, Montana 59254, sends us a letter with some information stating: 'Would like to get in my two bits worth on the November-December issue. No. 1. The Darling little 8-16 on page 4 is a 1922. They appeared in 1917. No. 2. The Titans on page 22 are 1919, or newer. No. 3. The 10 hp. I.H. on page 31 if under SN No.1389 is 1920 and over 1389 up to 3930 made up to 1924. My guess is, it is a 1920. The roller on the rocker arm bugs me, as International never serviced it and I never saw one.'
I guess that is about it for this time and I wanted to tell you -- Tommie and I are going to have breakfast at a local department store Saturday morning with Santa Claus -- imagine that -- what will they think of next? He won't be fooled for too long for he has said about the Santas being different, and figured out they are all helpers. Fortunately though, none of our children so far, have ever been disappointed when they found out about Santa for we always tell them there really always is a Santa Claus, but it is not so much the one you see, but the desire you have to give to others and help someone else. You must believe there will always be 'the spirit of giving' and that there will always be Santa Claus in Christmas and to try and live that way all the time. If it weren't for the birth of baby Jesus -- we would not have Christmas and Santa Claus. (You must admit there is something special in the air at Christmas time, that special wonderful 'be good to everybody' feeling -- you see it everywhere. Who knows, maybe every year we get a little closer to being that way all year.)
There should be a write-up elsewhere in this issue of the Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Association, Inc. on their meeting held recently where they honored Joe Fahnestock as 'Spark Plug of the Year'. I understand they are going to give one annually.
They picked a fine person to award the first one to as we here at GEM think Joe is tops in promoting interest in gas engines and people. I only wish someone could have written his story as he writes about others. When it comes to writing, I stand very humbly in the shadows of his writings. I think he has a command of words and deftly plays with the adjectives to the best advantage when writing up his columns.
1929 Cord L29 phaeton, classic front wheel drive.
He usually takes all his own pictures and develops them and writes such interesting stories that appear in Iron-Men Album and Gas Engine Magazine -- all at his own time and expense.
I'm sorry I don't know him better as I've come to appreciate him only through the mails. I'm sure he is a fine person from the folks I know who have met him and know him. We here at the office think very highly of him.
I'd like to write more about him, his likes and dislikes but I can't, except to say I do believe he has a hobby on the side collecting clocks. He is a great inspiration to all of us. If you have ever read his one article on the trials of his life -- one of the issues in Iron-Men tells of his tribulations to conquer his physical handicaps. I can't locate the article right now, but if you get the magazines, I'm sure you've read it.
So, once again, we'd like to say 'Hats off to a great Iron-Man and Spark Plug!'