This is a poem my Father, (Blake Haden) wrote when we were in Reedley, California in January, 1930.
We‚Äôd left Ava, MO in October, 1929, after selling our farm at the insistence of my Aunt Allie Huffman.¬† She was Dad‚Äôs 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‚Äôd just returned from California and came to see my Dad and says, ‚ÄúBlake, I want you to sell this ‚Äėtorn down‚Äô 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‚Äôre 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, ‚ÄúNow Blake you tell me you have four young children at home and you‚Äôre going to where you‚Äôve never been and you aren‚Äôt sure whether you‚Äôll 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‚Äôt get a job right away.¬† But in case that does or doesn‚Äôt happen, I‚Äôm going to give you the title to the car anyway, so‚Äôs you‚Äôll not have any trouble as you cross the state lines of Missouri and Kansas, and etc.‚ÄĚ¬† (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‚Äôt 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‚Äôs when he wrote this poem that I‚Äôm sending you.¬† I‚Äôm telling you all of this sos‚Äôs you‚Äôll 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,
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 poem was recopied by his daughter
Ethel Haden McCallie, April 30th, 2001