Category Archives: Family

Posts about my family

To my new son

Dear Leo,

You were born on a Thursday and I cannot believe what a miracle you are.  People do this all the time and the amazement never ceases.

I wish for you,

long healthy life

easement of disapointment 

beauty of art

appreciation of your fellow humans

love supreme

discovery of passonate calling

Welcome to the world.  You will always have our love. 

Pankratz Family Picture

A nice Sunday drive

Rumley 15/25
Dad and I got the Rumley running yesterday.  The magneto was still charged and the engine actually started without too much trouble.
The fuel pump wasn't bringing fuel in so we worked on it for a couple of hours.  We checked the fuel lines, cleaned out the check valve, and re-wrapped all the threads with Teflon tape.
Finally, we blew some air into the fuel tank and forced fuel into the lines.  The pump took right off.
Rumley Oil Pull
Abe said the tractor was too loud.  He stood on the platform with me and asked what all the pieces and parts did.
Now, we need to clean the exterior up and repaint some things.  And, we'll probably work on the rest of the engines next time.
I put more pictures in the BungoJungo Picture Gallery

Wild blue yonder

My Uncle is a pilot.  My Aunt says he just sits in the front seat and makes "plane noises", but I've actually flown with him.

Early on in his career he flew some very interesting routes and rides.  I once wrote a story for one of my high school English classes about how he flew over the original Woodstock festival.  Not true, but an interesting concept.

Anyway, he has a fascination for seaplanes.  Particularly Grummans.  I guess when you fly multi-million dollar biz jets equipped with anti-missile technologies for a living, the other side of the aeronautical spectrum provides a respite.

Grumman Widgeon

That's a Grumman Widgeon.  Only 266 of them were produced from 1941 to 1955.  And my Uncle is buying one.  From Alaska.  He lives in Pennsylvania.  He is going to fly it from Alaska to Pennsylvania.  I really wish I could make the trip with him.

What kind of tractor is that?

I've been waiting on pictures to post about my recent trip to Minnesota.

Dad and I drove straight through Friday night and made very good time.  We were in Mt. Lake before 2am.  After a few hours of sleep (and our initial trailer tire change), we got to the task of loading the tractor and engines.


Luckily, we had some help and the masterful tractor skills of Rodney Goertzen.  We loaded the Rumely, six engines, and two old Maytag engines with relative ease.

After an interesting evening seeing people I haven't seen in 15 years and a nice quick trip to Minneapolis to see the Twins , we set off back home for Kansas. Our rough calculation for trailer weight was about 6900 lbs on a trailer rated for 7000.  Plus about 600 lbs in the truck bed.  Plus at least that much in the cab because I wouldn't ride in the bed.

Many thanks to Rodney and Mary Goertzen for the good conversation, kind hospitality, and hard work.

Our trip back to Kansas was a bit more eventful. Every time we fueled up or stopped for food, people would ask what the heck we were hauling.  Most of the interest was in the tractor, but a couple of people knew enough to ask about the other engines.

We lost our first trailer tire just south of Norfolk, NE.  The tread cap completely came off at about 60 mph but the tire stayed inflated.  We were able to pull off the highway and get it changed without having to unload anything.

Almost immediately after we started back on the highway, we started losing pieces of the two trailer tires we hadn't replaced.  We limped into Eisenmann Supplies in Madison, NE.  The owner was working the counter and remarked that he had "cut a lot of engines like that up for junk back in the day."

      Matt changes tires

In order to speed the process along, I helped put the tires back on.  After settling up, we were on our way.

The rest of the trip was fairly smooth.  The truck had some minor transmission issues that were solved by adding trans fluid.  My wife and Abe met us in Hutchinson Kansas and dad drove the rest of the way to Pratt.  His neighbor Bob helped him unload.

Unloading engines     Unloading engines

It was nice to spend some quality time with my dad.  Hopefully, we won't have too much trouble cleaning up and restoring the tractor and engines.  

There are more pictures here