Born and raised in a depressed coal mining area
I guess we were as hillbilly as people could be
A flock of seven children made us a family of nine
Seemed like for us, nothing ever came for free

We were used to hoofing it most everywhere we went
Except for the school bus or walking to catch the train
When she had the money, Mother would hire a neighbor
To take her to Williamson for shopping and back again

Each Saturday, one of us walked to the Freeburn post office
To get the mail and go to the Company Store to trade
We'd take Mother's long list and have it filled and charged
Daddy cleared up the debt twice a month when he got paid

For 1940s coal miners in the hills and hollers of Kentucky
Appalachian paychecks sure didn't stretch very far
I can still remember the day and how proud we were
When Daddy could finally afford a real family car

At Freeburn Motors, he’d bought a 1931 Model-A Ford
At a cost of one hundred hard-earned dollars
Paying ten dollars down and ten dollars a month
As we cruised happily up and down the hollers

Daddy and Junior gave the outside a new paint job
Upholstered the interior with red oil cloth
It got a shiny, new finish painted with a brush
From a gallon of black lacquer Daddy bought

Though gasoline was cheap, it was hard to come by
And he could never afford to buy a tank full
Daddy would buy a quarter’s worth of gas at a time
Then run for a month on that little bit of fuel

Most of our neighbors in Johnson Bottom were just like us
Living from payday to payday and kids not knowing we were poor
But when Daddy took us for rides in our new old car
The well-to-do people with shiny new ones let us know for sure

Looking back on those days, I'm still reluctant to admit it
But it got so I was ashamed to be seen riding that automobile
Many times, other kids heckled us and laughingly pointed 
On the days he drove us to school, it was no longer a thrill

Then came the day that led to the moral of this long story
We had a blizzard so bad that new cars and buses wouldn't start
Chugging along in our Model-A, picking up kids who were stranded
That little car never faltered and it was endeared to my heart

Daddy worked awfully hard for his meager wages
And there were lots of things he couldn't afford
But one of the best deals that he ever made
Was buying that rickety, but reliable, old Model-A Ford

Automobiles have evolved to such a degree nowadays 
Restoring and showing old cars has become quite a fad
If an award was ever given for the highest in excellence 
The title of "True Classic" would belong to our Dad

Kathleen McCoy Eldridge©
April 3, 2007
All Rights Reserved

Wildwood Flower Midi Picking by Harry Todd
Sequenced by Harry Todd
Used with Permission