This is a poem my Father, (Blake Haden) wrote when we were in Reedley, California in January, 1930.
Weâd left Ava, MO in October, 1929, after selling our farm at the insistence of my Aunt Allie Huffman.Â She was Dadâs only sister.Â 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.Â And on this occasion, sheâd just returned from California and came to see my Dad and says, âBlake, I want you to sell this âtorn downâ farm and go to California with me.Â You can make more there in one day than you can here in a month doing what youâre doing now.Â So Daddy sold our farm, and bought a new 1929 Model A Ford Coach, paid $628.00 for it–full price then.Â Can you imagine that?
But the car salesman (Harry Martin) at that time, says to my Dad, âNow Blake you tell me you have four young children at home and youâre going to where youâve never been and you arenât sure whether youâll 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 donât get a job right away.Â But in case that does or doesnât happen, Iâm going to give you the title to the car anyway, soâs youâll not have any trouble as you cross the state lines of Missouri and Kansas, and etc.âÂ (Because) At that time it was a Federal Crime to cross a state line in a mortgaged car.Â So Daddy did as the salesman asked him to and after arriving in California, Daddy didnât 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.Â 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.Â And it just literally broke my heart to see my Daddy in jail.Â So thatâs when he wrote this poem that Iâm sending you.Â Iâm telling you all of this sosâs youâll know why Daddy was in jail.Â I was so thrilled and happy when he got out.
Tell Mrs. Henson, Hello for me and Thank you so much again.Â
Please write again,
The following poem was written in January 1930 by Blake Haden when we were in Reedley, California, to his parents, Rezin and Frances Haden.
This is my lamentation.Â Oh how Iâve 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 itâs 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 Iâve 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