Volume I, No. 2, Winter 1973




These Ponies Ain't Got No Reverse

I can't back them no where
as told to Jay Luthy by Roy Gage

Buster, can't you be quiet for a minute? Whoa, Ginger, you can scratch your leg tomorrow.

I guess I'm foolish, but I've loved these here horses more than a new car.

Anna May (his sister) don't like it too much. She won't ride with me but then that don't make no difference.

I just get out on Sundays and ride around this way for a pastime. I just like it. I guess I'm kinda too much of an old timer, I don't know why, but I just like things like that.

I trained these ponies, and it took, oh, I'd say about all summer. This year I broke this little sorrel horse at work this spring. I had a time with him in the watermelon patch a while back. Oh, my goodness! It was the first time he'd been worked, I guess, in the garden, and he turned around there and cut the awfulest shine you ever seen in your life, and I couldn't hold him or do anything with him, and I couldn't whip him. You can't whip him 'cause he just goes to pieces whenever you do. I don't like to be whipped myself either, so I guess he don't.

I tell you I think people ought to have more horses than a lot of other stuff they've got. So many of these little ole horses and ponies are taken off to be killed and make dog feed out of them. You know, I'm afraid that's gonna be bad on Judgment Day for people like that. I don't believe in that. I think people ought to have a little more love in their heart than to act like that.

[2]

Take these ponies here. They're nothing extra. There's better ponies than these, but I would not sell them to be killed at no price. I'm a very poor person, but you couldn't pile up enough gold there in front of me to take these ponies and kill them. You know a horse back in older days, that's the only way people had of making a living. Now I know we was poor folks. We hauled ties from here to Lebanon, cut cord wood, stave bolts and everything else to make a living. If we hadn't had a horse we couldn't of done it. We might of went hungry otherwise, but we didn't.

Now that there wagon, I made that all by myself. I made every bit of it. Everything but the wheels and axle. The rest of it I made. Everything!

I used to make a lot of stuff like this. It's just born in me, I reckon, to do stuff like that. It's just sort of like music. Now if that ain't born in you, you just as well not start in 'cause you've got to have it there. Hard to learn. Now my folks were all musicians, everyone of them, but I can't play nothing but a radio and it's got to be in pretty good shape or I can't do that.

I didn't have no pattern on this here wagon whatever. I just made it out of my head. I ruint a lot of stuff getting it made, too. I did. I'd say I ruint 'bout as much timber as I got in the wagon.

I worked in the house a doing that. I didn't Work steady on it all the time, you know, just worked a little on her every day to pass away the time. I worked even till midnight sometimes. I'm just kinda guessing but I think it took 'bout three weeks to make. I used just common hand tools, that's all. Just my handsaw, hammer and drawknife.

I made the wagon bed out of pine but the rest of it's made out of white oak. It's just the right size for a rank of wood. A rank, it don't make no load at all. It don't pull them (the ponies). I believe I could pull two rank of wood with them. That little mare can do it almost by herself. She's got more life in her than I have.

But me, I guess I just ain't as young as I used to be.






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