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[Author and date not given - typed from a scrapbook]

Sorry, folks, to mislead you. Through a typographical error the column yesterday told about a "kitchen" we would like to give away. If we could guarantee as many answers to all ads as we got to that, we wouldn’t have to worry over business. Must be that kitchens still are in pretty good demand even if the public eating places do seem to be doing so well.

One woman called and said if it was an electric one to send it right over; it was just what she had been wanting. Another wasn’t so particular that way; just asked about the color.

What we intended the column to say was "kitten". We wouldn’t give away our kitchen for anything. We might be willing to part with the parlor or the spare bedroom, but never the kitchen. If we didn’t have that there wouldn’t be any place left to sit down and read and chew apples and popcorn and place your feet on the stove on cold winter nights. (Doesn’t that "cold" sound refreshing?)

Radiators are nice and they warm up the house just as well or better than the old stoves but still and all when the frigid winds are howling outside, snowflakes falling and the Weather Man raising hob in general, there’s nothing quite like pulling a chair up alongside a friendly fire for real comfort and enjoyment.

Maybe it’s because we’re a little old fashioned but we still look back with pleasure to our boyhood when there was a huge self-feeder stove in the sitting room at home. It had isinglass widows on three sides through which the fire could be watched. As youngsters we used to sit around it by the hour on winter nights, often times with the lights out, and there told stories, discussed the day’s happenings, played "talking" games, and imagined seeing all sorts of things formed by smoke on the isinglass just as kids sometimes study cloud formations in the sky.

Just before going to bed, dad would fill the self-feeder with several buckets of coal and we would pull ourselves away and go upstairs where the only help toward keeping warm was a soapstone or flatiron wrapped in cloth. How we did cuddle up to them when we first crawled in between the sheets! Then morning. It wasn’t light yet when we had to pile out. The sun hadn’t warmed things up a bit. Windows open for ventilation hadn’t helped to keep the clothes hanging on chairs near the bed from getting icy. Under such circumstances starting the day was no gradual process. With one movement we threw back the quilts, and landed our bare feet on the floor. Another moment and we had slid into slippers, grabbed our clothes and gone downstairs in about two jumps. There we were greeted by that friendly old stove with the isinglass widows, which seemed like so many sparkling, cheerful eyes peering at you through the gray light of dawn. They seemed to say: "Don’t mind the cold; come close and we’ll warm you up."

So we would hold our clothes by the side of the stove for a few moments and then slip them on, all the time standing just as close as possible to the fire. By the time we were through the goosepimples had disappeared and we were ready to dig into a pile of thin, brown buckwheat cakes drowned in maple syrup.

Yes, we like radiators. They are cleaner than stoves – possibly a little more decorative, and they don’t take up so much room. There’s no doubt they are an improvement in many ways. But just the same, a youngster brought up on radiators with no heating stove in the house has missed something real. No radiator ever made can have the appeal of a genuine fire in one of those old-fashioned self-feeders. Progress? Yes, but hang it all, we can’t help feeling a little glad that we lived a while before a lot of this progress was made. – UNCLE NICK
The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933