Somebody asked me what Christmas was like when I was a boy and if times were as hard as sometimes people made them out to be.
Well, the best way I know how to answer that is to write a little poem that describes Christmas in Redneck Terms.
Keep in mind that in those days I had been known to make a little moonshine whiskey, which, of course, I wouldn't do now because I am a Child of God.
Since I love a good laugh, I am seeking to answer the question in a simple, easy to understand poem that tells it just about the way it was in those days.
We were so poor most of the time that I couldn't afford underwear.
I'd just cut a big rubber band out of a bicycle innertube, tie it around my waist make out like I had underwear on. The breeze that came in through the hole in the seat of my pants didn't give me a whole lot to rejoice over, but we were a thankful and close knit family.
My shoes didn't have much soles left on them and what was left had been patched with cardboard and one shoe on Daddy's right foot had lost the sole completely.
The law came in and raided our still, but me and Daddy got away but what was so funny, Daddy's right shoe was so bad, with that missing sole that when he kicked up that right foot real high trying to run fast, that his brogan would slid up and down his foot, the sole going almost past his ankle.
I was about 14 or 15 years old and I was running so hard I didn't see a barbed fence until I had run all over it, then I had to back off with Daddy hurrying me up, when I tried to climb over it I caught the straddle of my overalls on the top strand and got hung up but Pop grabbed me and yanked me off the fence, and, honey, I topped some high cotton, after he got me loose. Don't ever let nobody tell you these little short legs can't run! I tore the whole straddle out of my overalls, but I didn't get caught.
The ABC boys dynamited our still and it looked like you'd blowed up a factory in those woods.
When the Law gets after you, you'd be surprised how fast you can move to keep from going to jail.
You may think I'm lying, but so help me, it's the truth. You probably ain't never seen no really hard times but, let me tell you, I have, and I wouldn't trade my childhood for all the tea in China. Come to think about it, China ain't got a whole of anything I want anyway.
You may wonder why we wore those shoes if they wasn't no better than that but we didn't want folks to know we couldn't afford shoes. It was a matter of pride with us.
It's true we made whiskey, but we made good whiskey. We took pride in that, and Dad raised us to believe that our word was our bond. Making whiskey was just a way to make a living.
We stuck together through thick and thin like buttermilk sticks to a Billy Goat's chin.
We had to put diapers on the chickens to keep the Hoot Owls from molesting the hens, and the Roosters carried pocket knives so they could guard the feed bin from the giant rats.
I heard two of the rats talking one time about making a snack out of our German Shepherd dog, and this is how the conservation went, "if we don't carry him into the woods, the big ones will take him away from us."
Please read my little poem with a grain of salt and remember that, "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine."
Thank you very much,