Carolina Live Steamers

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Carolina Live Steamers Meet

by Clyde Leonard

The Live Steamer, November 1951

Here is a brief outline of the Carolina Live Steamers Club Meet held on September 23, 1951 at the home of Otha Hege-Lexington. It was the best get together we've had to date. I go there last with the least, as usual, but Boy, when I did get there, I see'd the most engines I ever see'd at one time. Nine all told, six of them running.

My old Tom Thumb really performed that day (Ralph Knox of Dayton please note with a grin-Ed) as a rule she pulls one of her temperamental ailments around a crowd just to embarass me, but she came through without a hitch that time. Mr. Sykes-Gaffney, S. Caroline, was there with a brand spank new 4-6-2 passenger engine which ran as smooth as velvet. Frank Kaylor-Southern Pines, Thompson, O'Kel and Rich of Charlotte, were all there with their Hudsons and Pacifics.

Any of you readers who are contemplating building Yankee Shop's little 0-4-0 switcher and wondering what it'll do, you needn't hesitate. David Yader from Gastonia brought one up, but the boiler was incomplete, so we hooked a long air hose to the header pipe and tried her out anyway. Boys, I'm here to tell you-that's the pullingest one little hunk of metal I've seen put together. With two flat cars and 50 pounds air pressure, it pulled three men (disregarding the wives cracks about "little boys that never grow up") they were big men, one weight 310 pounds. I believe that little switcher could pull the hinges off Hades if there was some way to couple up to said hinges. Well, after all the ribbing about "little boys" etc, and about the hair dryer I use to start Tom Thumb, I felt in a forgiving mood after Mrs. Hege called us to put on the feed bag. Nothing climaxes a good day's run like a real feast. I wanted to keep running and have someone hand me a sandwich or piece of cake when I came by "ala mailpouch" but my Ward Department put her foot down on that idea, so I pushed my "tummy" up against the table like a "little boy that'd never grown up".