The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

My Old Model T and Me

By Carl "Skinny" Rowland © 1989

Issue: January, 1989

Dear Readers,

For the first time in its existence, The Mountain Laurel will have a regular poetry column. One day a large envelope arrived in the mail and it was full of some of the best poetry I've read lately. We have permission to print 16 of them and hope you readers will enjoy them as much as I have.

About the poet, Carl "Skinny" Rowland is a mountaineer from Helena, Montana. He has been honored by having one of his poems included in Montana's centennial edition of the anthology of Montana Poets and is representing Montana in the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada.

From reading his poems, it's easy to gather that Skinny is quite a teller of tall tales. His letter didn't give his age, but he referred to himself as "an old dude." He said most of his poems were written when he was living alone back in the mountains, but now he has A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig's disease) and has had to move down to Helena.

To quote from his letter: "Susan, please feel free to make copies of any of these poems to give to any friends or others who would like them. If any would care to write their comments to me I would be really delighted." Taking him at his word, his address is 1002 Breckenridge, Helena, Montana 59601, if any of you would like to do so.

He ended his letter appropriately with the Montana state motto, "Montani Semper Liberi"   Mountaineers always free...

We hope you enjoy Skinny's poetry.

Susan Thigpen, Editor

My Old Model T and Me

Now there was a glib tongued peddler,
who dealt in Model T's,
and I surely was took in by him,
and those words of speed and ease.

So I traded off my old horse Jug,
and got a brand new Model T,
no more catching up a horse,
or cleaning stalls for me.

No more curry combs or feed bags,
or cinching on a saddle,
I'd just hop into the driver's seat,
hit the throttle and skedaddle.

Now a horse is never there for you,
every time you need it,
and while your Model T ain't used,
you never have to feed it.

Well it hasn't been so long now,
since I cried tears of remorse,
and headed out for town on foot,
to buy back that old horse.

I'll admit I used to hate it,
and shoeing horses got me down,
but I never had to shoe old Jug,
four times on the way to town.

A sneaky nip from that old Jug,
sure used to make me boil,
but mister you ain't been bit at all,
til you touch a Model T coil.

Now those Model T's will let you down,
they're always out of gas,
but I cut old Jug loose in his field,
and he tanks up on grass.

Now I never have to sweat and crank,
to get old Jug to go,
and I never have to hit the barn,
to stop I just say whoa.

Now old Jug he has his drawbacks,
but he has yet to let me down,
while heading back for home again,
from a night out on the town.

While riding Jug, I've fell asleep,
but I can't ever recollect,
of ever walking clear back home,
because old Jug got wrecked.

Sometimes that Ford it comes to mind,
but that makes me think of Jug,
It's then I feel like walking out,
to give that ornery cuss a hug.