I AM A MODEL T
Many years ago when, I, a Model T, was born,
All the bigger cars would look at me with scorn.
My birthday was on May eleven,
The last year of the “T”, nineteen twenty-seven.
The name of the man who made me was Henry Ford.
I was a little car that most people could afford.
I was very tinny, therefore, I was nicknamed “Tin Lizzie”.
I showed them all that I could go so fast they’d get dizzy.
Once I was at the bottom of the class,
Put together with hay wire, tin, and not much glass.
A car people would love but sometimes cuss.
For decades people told stories about me, and still do discuss.
People would always for me clap and cheer,
The underdog, who always brought up the rear.
Although Whippetts, Hupmobiles, Essexs, and Packards sneered,
In the end I was one to be feared.
It gives me great pride today to see,
All these other companies are but a memory.
Although Henry died a long time ago in fame,
My descendants proudly wear his name,
For it was the lowly Model “T”
That kept a “Ford in Your Future”.
Oh, I was so proud of my accessories,
Wire Wheel, electric lights, and a starter, if you please.
There was no heater available to me,
Sand air conditioning I always had, you see.
Even thought I haven’t heard of air conditioning yet,
People could open up a window if they did sweat.
A young farmer came to town and purchased me,
Without a lesson he drove me down the street with glee.
Proudly straight to the saloon,
And most drove me right into the room.
After a drink to celebrate his prize,
He remembered someone special to surprise.
Homeward bound he flew to show his honey,
What he had bought with his hard-earned money.
He picked her up and they went a dance,
Both their heads were filled with romance.
He put the top down; there was a bright sky,
Still excited about the new toy he did buy.
The stars were bright. There was a full moon,
Soon into his arms she did swoon.
Sitting under the spreading chestnut trees,
They learned a bit about the birds and the bees.
He promised her his true love forever,
Whispering to me, “I won’t forget you either, no, not ever.
They were married that fall.
I looked the sharpest of them all.
Proudly they took me on their honeymoon,
But it was so lonesome when they spent time in their room.
Their lover for each other was the warmest yet,
In time many children they did beget.
On cold winter days my owner would step off of the porch,
In his hand he held a large blazing torch,
Which he slid under my cold, cold, belly,
To warm up my engine oil, it was like jelly.
Soon it became so hot, I wondered if I had any part left or not.
When I was as warm as toast, “I’ll start you with one crank, he did boast.
As he picked himself off of the ground,
Red faced, he looked all around.
Because you see, you don’t just turn on the key.
There’s a certain procedure to follow when starting a model “T”.
Most important was to push the lever called spark.
Then pull down the throttle, and set the had lever to park.
Open the carburetor one full turn,
Because I need some extra gas to burn.
Go up front and pull on my choke.
Do all this and maybe your arm won’t get broke.
Gently grab the crank like you might be milking a bull,
And-oh,oh so gently give a little pull
Smeetimes I’d satart and sometimes I wouldn’t.
He would fly into a rage and spin the crank like a fool,
And most people knew that, then, I’d kick like a mule.
He would swear and jump all about,
I’d smile because I could not hear what he would shout.
I’m glad that thoughtful Henry, my creator,
Had not put ears on my radiator.
I would let my engine start just to save his sanity,
The air would be pretty blue with all of his profanity.
The day came when I became very old and slow,
Because they had bought a new Ford V-8, so long and so low.
‘Twas with sadness they shoved me in an old barn to sit and dream,
Sad, because I once hauled all for their children, eggs, milk and cream.
In the dark barn my thoughts and gathering dust,
I rested thirty some years and started to rust.
One day the door slid open. There was a stranger.
Grandpa Clayton entered and stood by the manger.
He said he didn’t want to buy just any old car,
He wanted me because I had gone so very far.
He promised me I’d be like new again,
People would look at me and remember way back then
I heard him quietly say, “Valuable will be this ”T”.
As all the memories it will stir in me.
He hauled me home and with care
Took me all apart and started to repair.
Gray paint, new tires, upholstery, and a big box of parts,
He and his sons worked on me with loving hands and hearts.
They had a plan you see. It was no charade.
They wanted to finish in time for the bicentennial parade.
Yes, although we loved each other secretly,
Truly, it was the grandchildren who became my social security.
Short trips for them are a delight.
The laughter and screaming is a delight.
For whenever Grandpa Clayton wants to go in style,
He’ll drive me instead of the newer vintage pile.
Some parades, going for ice cream cones, and to threshing bees,
Yes, even to the nursing home. Some elderly ladies I did please.
As I carried them off to church to have communion,
They counted the days until that heavenly reunion.
And s they gazed at my old Model “T” body perfected,
They prayed, “Dear Lord, we, too, want too be resurrected.
By Clayton Engelstad July 10,1994
Gene in Virginia Beach
Thanks Gene. Made my day.
Good reading. I'm glad he wrote it and covered so thouroghly in one poem. This is good work.
Thanks for the memories.