October 30, 2013

Ms. McCallie’s Letter of October 21, 2013

Dear Wilda,

This is a poem my Father, (Blake Haden) wrote when we were in Reedley, California in January, 1930.

We’d left Ava, MO in October, 1929, after selling our farm at the insistence of my Aunt Allie Huffman.  She was Dad’s only sister.  She had six other brothers, but my Dad was her favorite.

He,(my Dad) was a carpenter and a good one too and Aunt Allie said her other brothers were working my Dad to death, he was working for them daily from sun up to sun down for $.75 a day and it made Aunt Allie very angry at them for treating Daddy like that and she told them so.  And on this occasion, she’d just returned from California and came to see my Dad and says, “Blake, I want you to sell this ‘torn down’ farm and go to California with me.  You can make more there in one day than you can here in a month doing what you’re doing now.  So Daddy sold our farm, and bought a new 1929 Model A Ford Coach, paid $628.00 for it–full price then.  Can you imagine that?

But the car salesman (Harry Martin) at that time, says to my Dad, “Now Blake you tell me you have four young children at home and you’re going to where you’ve never been and you aren’t sure whether you’ll get work soon after you arrive there, so I suggest that you pay me $400.00 and keep the $228.00 for food, etc. in case you don’t get a job right away.  But in case that does or doesn’t happen, I’m going to give you the title to the car anyway, so’s you’ll not have any trouble as you cross the state lines of Missouri and Kansas, and etc.”  (Because) At that time it was a Federal Crime to cross a state line in a mortgaged car.  So Daddy did as the salesman asked him to and after arriving in California, Daddy didn’t find a job, as he looked and hunted everywhere, so he had to use the $228.00 for food, rent, and gas for the car.  And after a few weeks, ad detective came and took the car and put Daddy in jail, till my Grandpa and uncles, raised enough money to pay the $228.99 which took ten days.  And it just literally broke my heart to see my Daddy in jail.  So that’s when he wrote this poem that I’m sending you.  I’m telling you all of this sos’s you’ll know why Daddy was in jail.  I was so thrilled and happy when he got out.

Tell Mrs. Henson, Hello for me and Thank you so much again. 

Please write again,

Sincerely, Ethel

The following poem was written in January 1930 by Blake Haden when we were in Reedley, California, to his parents, Rezin and Frances Haden.

Dearest Parents,

This is my lamentation.  Oh how I’ve lived my life
By following willful Satan, trying not to do the right.
My past life was so wasted, my road, oh how entwined
With briars, thorns and brambles, with sunlite it was not lined.
I walked through prayers of Christians, I heard them pray for me.
That I would be the Christian, that I had ought to be.
But yet I walked with Satan, in the road that is so wide
Heeding not the voice of Jesus as he walked so close beside.
Still I heeded not the voice, till it was most too late
And now a California prison holds me behind it’s gate.
So in the Reedley jail house, and the iron door is on me closed
My sins loomed up like mountains, I could not sleep in sweet repose.
Still I heard My Savior calling, in that sweet low tone
And about the hour of midnight, I heard Him Bid me come.
As on my knees I bended, my burdens how hard to bear
I prayed to Him for Mercy, religion seemed so near.
And my children, Oh! God bless them, how I long to teach them true.
Train them how to serve their master, Jesus Christ their Savior too!
May they never, oh no never walk the pathway that I’ve trod.
For it is a road of trouble, and is not the way of God.
Pray that I will walk the pathway, in the strait and narrow way.
Shunning all the snares, and pitfalls scattered all along the way.
Oh! My soul now feels so happy, All my sins are washed away.
Pray that I will do His bidding, till my body turns to clay.

This poem was recopied by his daughter
Ethel Haden McCallie, April 30th, 2001


July 24, 2008

Ms. McCallie’s Letter of 7/16/2008

Following are excerpts from Ms. McCallies letter of 7/16/2008.

My Missouri Home“Well Hello There, All of You Nice and lovely folks, In the Wonderful City of Champion.  Now wasn’t that a nice thing to say?  Well that’s the way I think and feel about you–and All Champions. 

     “And I can’t hardly wait for the good ole Douglas County Herald, sos I can read the Champion and News of the Homestead Stories.  I cut all of them out of the papaer and keep them. Someday (I hope) to make me a scrapbook, and they’ll be in it.  My sons Larry and Phillip both enjoy reading them to, when they visit me.  My son Phillip lives in Golden City, MO, about 120 miles from you.  And my son Larry lives in Hutchinson, KS.  But one thing for sure I’d better get buisy on the scrap book, because my 91st b.d. is coming up, August11th, which is only a few weeks away.  Tell Esther Wrinkles I wish her a late Happy B.D.  She beat me a few weeks.  I’m so hoping I can come to Champion in Sept. when I come to our Haden Family reunion Stptember’s 1st weekend. 

      “….I enjoyed seeing and meeting you and Mrs. Henson so very much and I think you were both so nice.  Also I really liked seeing the little store of Champion.  It brought back so many memories of the old store at Smallett, MO. Where We went to sell eggs, frying chickens, old hens and roosters to buy our groceries when I was a child in the 1920’s.  We had to walk to the store.  It was quite a ways too.  We lived about half way between it and the Silver Shade School house where I went my first 6 years of school.  Darrell Haden also went there too, but he’s about 100 years younger than me, haha.  No Actually he’s just almost 14 years my Jr.  I liked from the 6th of July, till the 1th of August being 14 years old, when he was born….(1931).

     “….Another thing we did as a child was to sell cotton tail rabiits.  Daddy made my sister and I a bunch of rabbit traps, with trap-doors on them and we’d throw a handfull of shelled corn in them and set the trigger and take the ones we’d catch to the store and sell them.  We’d get from .05 to .15 a piece for them.  It was our money for Christmas gifts.

     “It was pretty cold sometimes when we’d bait our traps, and also when we’d get a rabbit in them.  Usually the best catches was when there’d be a big snow on the ground.  Once I’d saved .35 and Wowee!  It was the most money I’d ever had (haha).  I was 8 or 9 years old.  Can you feature seeing 8 or 9 year olds out in the snow now days doing that?  They almost scoff and laugh at you now if you give them $#5.00.  They’ll say, ‘Huh!  That won’t buy anything!’  I don’t really believe they appreciate anything like we did as a child.  I was so proud ant thankful for everything I had or got.  We go so little in material things, but oodles and gobs of love.  @3 (4) four children lost our Mother when we were very young.  (She was so young to die–only 30).  My oldest sister, Elaine was 9.  Next sister, Blanche was 7.  I was 4, by brother was 15 months old.  That’s what my poor Daddy was left with, but he was so watchful over us, just like an ole Mother hen with four little chicks.  And he entertained us every night after he’d get home.  Daddy was a carpenter.  He built several of the houses and buildings in Ava, and a lot of buildings in Douglas, Taney and Ozar Counties.

     “We children fully obeyed his orders when he’d leave to go to work, and left my oldest sister Elaine in charge and told us to obey her for he’d instructed her what to do and how to take care of us.  And I still praise her today, for doing a to job.  She had t learn so young and really never had a young child’s life.  Always had to watch after us younger ones and take care of the house.  We had a hard life but Daddy done the best he could.  He was only 31 when Mother died.  He was a year and 3 days older than she.  His BD, September 4th, 1890 and her’s Septembre 7th, 1891.  Mother died 3-22-1922.  Actually they were just kids, but kids them dyas had to grow up fast and learned to work and handle responsibilities.  We had to do the same.  But daddy was so thoughtful and helfpful with we childred.  He’d tell us girls after supper to clean the kitchen up and we’d do something good.  And some nights he’d play games with us like  hide the thimble or “please or Displealse” and other nights he’d read the Bible or Zane Gray or Harld B. Wrights books to us.  He had every one of their books, the sotries I rmembered most, from the Bible, was when Jesus was born and on through his 12th birthday.  And the one I liked bes in Zane Gray’s books was about a red horse named “Wildfire.”  And Harold Belle Wrights was “Shepherd of the Hills,”  Those stories have stayed with me through the years.

     “Well as I promised this is the ‘caboose’ so bye for now.  Love and best wishes to you and all Champions. 

Your Friend in Okalahoma,

Ethel (Haden) McCallie