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Let’s Talk Rusty Iron Results

Sears and Roebuck shaped Christmas traditions

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Christmas column this year is, as they say on the air, an “encore presentation,” having appeared in December of both 1995 and 2000. How many of you remember the anticipation, and the agonizingly long wait, after your mother sent in an order to Sears and Roebuck or Montgomery Ward? This Christmas season made me […]

Hand-written memories retell saw mill story

Thursday, December 4, 2014

About half a mile from the one-room school I attended was a saw mill that was owned by a farmer named Harvey Smith, and that was operated by Smith and his oldest son, Harold.

Restoring old tractors is rewarding, but costly

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I don’t claim to be “restoring” a tractor, as to me that means making it exactly as it was when new, an almost impossible undertaking unless one has unlimited funds.

The dreaded parlor stove makes its return again

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Folks in the latter half of the 19th century went through an unpleasant ritual along about this time of year, or probably a little earlier in Northern climes, called “putting up the parlor stove.”

Night cap: Looking for a good night’s sleep?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Miss Nancy and I, along with my little sister B.G. Theiss who is visiting from North Carolina, enjoyed the afternoon at the Farm and Dairy’s recent 100th Anniversary open house at the Salem Community Center.

‘Punkin pie’: Dessert to be praised across the globe

Thursday, October 9, 2014

There are many, many pumpkin pies bought or made from scratch and served at American tables around this time of year.

The Erie Canal in New York — from folly to fame

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Traveling in this country during the 16th and 17th centuries was difficult in the extreme.

Futuristic Oliver, built on shoestring, still head turner

Thursday, September 11, 2014

On February 23, 1929, Charles City, Iowa, residents read startling news in the Charles City Daily Press: There was to be a $50 million merger between the Hart-Parr Company, one of the city’s major firms, the Oliver Plow Works and Nichols & Shepard Company.

The Whippet: More than just an old automobile

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Folks often ask how I think of stuff to write about, and while I sometimes really have to scratch to come up with a subject, especially when a deadline is breathing down my neck, things I see in my travels often trigger a memory that leads to an idea for a story.

Old property wills can make fascinating reading

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Old wills, and I mean really old wills, are fascinating to read. They’re a way to learn about how our ancestors lived, as well as seeing what worldly goods were important to them.

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