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"TH WAY HIT WUZ"
WITH TH MODEL T FORD
(Written By Ray Gold)
Submitted June 25, 1998 by Ray Gold 
 
In the case you haint never noticed hit, things is a gittin pretty darn fast this day an time. Jest a little too fast to be safe. I think I’ll pull my horn in jest a bit, before I git run over out there. Hit used to be back in th good ole days, we hardly ever seed a car pass by up this a way, which really haint no highway, but then hits a gittin plum dangerous to go anywheres. Don’t ye see?, if’n ye aint kerful ye’ll get done in by one o the modern drivers. Jest cause we got a 55 mile speed limit they think they supposed to go about 10 miles faster en that speed limit, er ye aint doin hit right. Even on one of these little ole one way dirt roads, they jest go a buzzin.

I recollect when th Model T Ford first come out, course we didn’t have no paved roads neither, and th tires was high pressure tires, they wuz size 30X3-1/2, an they kept bringing th size uv um down to where they are now. They wuzn’t any good. Ye always had a bunch o flats. If’n ye went somewhere at night ye couldn’t see nuthin or where ye wuz agoin, ye didn’t have any sealed beam lights like ye do now, Shoot I recollect when my dad would hang a coal oil lantern on th radiator cap, an we thought we could see. If’n ye watched real close ye could see to miss th trees, if’n th wind didn’t blow th light out. Then you’d have to stop th car an get out an strike a match an light th lantern again.

Of course ever body had a lot uv chickens, and ducks, and guineas and geese and maybe an old sow an pigs all jest a running loose in th road an yard, it was quite a mess, they was jest a goin where they wanted too. When ever you’d pass a house th chickens jest had to get to th other side uv th road. You’d have to run right through a bunch uv chickens. Sometimes th chickens didn’t all make hit across to th other side. But back then th driver ud stop an pick up th chicken and take hit to th house an apologize to th folks fur runnin over th chicken, an offer to pay fur hit. At least they wasn’t in too big uv a hurry like they are today. That is kinda what hit was like back in th good ole days. Of course th folks had chicken an dumplings for a day or two. But now a days people ud think that somehow hit was th chicken’s fault in th first place. But after all hit was jest a mindin hits own business an a tryin to git to the other side uv th road. Somehow folks thinkin has got all twisted around to where they think hits th chickens fault, so they don’t even slow up er stop so hit can git across th road. This is real bad folks. I don’t know what this world is a commin to, I guess we ought to git th animal rights people on this case yet.

We didn’t have no paved roads, th brush all growed up on both sides of a little ole narrow, rough, one-way road. We had to watch fur limbs a stickin out a little too fur, hits jest kinda like runnin into a clothe line, hit sure would git your attention. In rainy wet weather th roads ud git in a awful shape they’d be mud holes and ruts in there an you’d jest haft to go right into it. They’d haul rocks with a wagon and team and put in th mud holes, an jest kinda rake um around so ye could go over um, an ye’d jest feel lucky that ye could get over em at all. Until we got cars we never got to go very far from home, so we didn’t know our way around. I was nearly grown before I got to go to Springfield, might say we jest went to Hurley and Union City and done our trading. We bought our groceries, sold our possum hides, un skunk hides, etc. and sold our chickens un eggs. But knew all of our neighbors, and had plenty of time to visit with um. So hit was a lot different than now, when you may not know your next door neighbor. I Recollect one time my Mom and Dad got us kids loaded into our Model T one Sunday morning, we was a goin to Marionville to visit someone there. Hit was wet and muddy weather. We was a going along out there this side of Marionville, in that flat land in there. The roads was jest a set of ruts thats all. If'n ye got in um ye couldn’t git out. Ever body was a learnin the rules uv th road. Well we got in them ruts a goin toward Marionville and couldn’t git out, an wuz afraid to stop, on account uv gittin stuck. Well they wuz another car got in them see ruts a commin this way an he couldn’t git out either, an he was afraid uv gittin stuck if’n he stopped. So here they come right toward each other, they couldn’t git out uv th ruts and they couldn’t stop neither.

We had a head-on right there in that muddy road. I wuz jest a little feller, but I recollect my Dad and this other driver discussed th matter. And they both said “You are not supposed to stop.” Whatever that means? But they did stop, with quite a little jolt. I think they busted both of th radiators, th stem was jest a boiling. Both drivers said “Well ye fix your car an I’ll fix mine,” an that settled it. Now a days if’n that happened, th driver that thought he was not to blame, might sue for whatever th lawyer thought he could git. This is jest another one of the many reasons hit was called th good ole days.

In th winter time them ole ruts in th road ud freeze solid, and it ud be so rough, hit ud really shake ye up. Then it ud thaw out with no bottom in th road, so’s ye’d git bogged down, un haft to git someone to pull ye out. When ye was a goin down th road with a team an wagon, ye’d almost git stuck and th team night git scared at th mud hole and git th wagon off in th brush or ditch. It ud git ye all muddy an messed up. But that was jest part of what might be called th good ole days, and we thought nothing about it.

Back then ye had to crank the Model T to git hit started. Sometimes th thing ud back-fire, “kick” Ye would see people with their arm in a slang, they had been kicked trying to start their car. Ye’d have to git it on level ground or have some one to scotch the wheels so hit wouldn’t run backards, or hit might go forwards an run over ye, while ye are a crankin the thing. Hit jest had one front door and hit was on th passengers side. Th driver jest climbed over if’n he got out on his side. If’n hit wasn’t runnin jest right or if ye had hit a little over loaded, hit might git stalled out “balked” a goin up a hill, then if’n ye didn’t have someone along with you to scotch th wheels ye could be in real trouble. Th emergency brake might not hold hit. You couldn’t leave hit in gear while you was a crankin on it. So ye had all kinds of problems, don’t ye see.? one time my Dad and Mom took the family to Springfield, and on the trip we had seven flat tires. People now a days really don’t understand how good off they really are, when hit comes to th automobile.

Th windshield was made in two pieces, upper half and th lower half, ye could crank it open an shut. I never did know what th purpose of it was. Th top would let down to th back of th seat, hit was made out of canvas, jest put hit up and down when ye wanted to. Then it got to where ye could git um with side curtains, and snap um on an off when ye wanted to. They had izing glass (like plastic) for windows.

If’n it couldn’t git up a hill, ye,d all git out except th driver an push on up th hill. If’n ye had too many people, they’d jest ride on th fender. That’ n wuz called th touring car. Then they come out with a one seated car with a seat built in th trunk. That seat was called th Rumble seat, they finally fixed a cab on um and put glass windows in um, ye could roll um up an down. The trucks had room for about 2 ton of feed but about 1 ton is all they could git up th hills with.

So now don’t ye see how good off ye fellers are now with ye modern cars and trucks · We didn’ t always have antifreeze like we do now. We’d have to drain th water out uv it every night in cold weather. If’n a car was hard to start we ud park on a hill so it could be pushed off down th hill to git hit started. If’n we didn’t have a hill to park on we’d hook two uv um together and pull the one that was hard to start.

Now, if’n we could have th modern day (1994) model of an automobile and take hit back to th middle 20’s and early 30’s, it seems to me that we would appreciate these late model cars and might slow down a mite and enjoy our ride and not live so fast. Who knows, we might live longer.


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