To me Christmas time is a time of remembering. Remembering the special Christmas in our life. That “Special Christmas” that seems to flood my mind each year is the year Pat got the Jenny for Christmas. The year 1932,Mama writes in the “Pat Book”. That year Santa Claus brought Pat a real live jenny. It was the prettiest one I ever saw. It was black. It was tied to a tree in the back yard. In the night it “he-hawed” and awaken Pat who asked his Daddy what made that noise. His Daddy told him it was likely a reindeer and to go back to sleep. Pretty soon it brayed again and kept it up. Pat was up to investigate. What a joy. At two o’clock in the morning Daddy was leading it around the house, through the snow with Pat and Drucilla riding. (Me, I remember that night as if it was yesterday. The ground was covered with snow. The moon was full making the world as bright as day. Daddy had on high top shoes untied as he led the Jenny around the yard.) From the book: The jenny brought years of happiness for all the neighborhood children. First they had a sled it pulled through the snow, Pat’s Daddy made him a wagon from the running gears of an old buggy. It was pretty nice and many loads of wood, vegetables or just picnic rides were possible As many children who could cllimb on got to ride on the jenny but the jenny was smart when it had had enough it rubbed them off by rubbing against a tree or the side of the house. Jen was one of the kids.”
Where did the jenny come from? The story goes that an old man in a wagon pulled by the jenny stopped by the service station owned by the late Bud Williamson. Everything the old man owned was in his wagon. The old man was very sick suffering from pneumonia. Bud paid him five dollars for the jenny then took the old man to the County Hospital in Fort Smith. Daddy bought the jenny for a rick of wood. I never thought to ask Mama what happened to old Jen.
When Pat became a grown man he wrote the following poem: MY JENNY AND I
“I once had a wagon and a jenny all my own. It was really call a Jenny hack by all the folks at home. It made no difference what they said, to me was all the same, It always got me here and there no matter what the name.
A lot of speed we never had and the loads were always small, But it made no difference where we went, or what we had to haul. There was a wobble in the wheels, that didn’t look so good, The rims and hubs were made of steel, but the spokes were made of wood.
The bed was rough just made from scrap, gathered here and there, It made no difference how it looked, I’d take it anywhere.How some people must have laughed, and some turn up their nose, It made no difference what was said or the many stories told.
There was always something there, that most folks didn’t see, The travelers going down the road, really totaled three. Always sitting by me there no matter where I’d go, Was a friend you couldn’t see and may not even know.
If there really is a pearly gate, some day I hope to see. My friend and humble jenny hack waiting there for me.”
Wonderful memories from the Great Depression. A jenny bought with a load of stovewood. Wishing each of you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS with many HAPPY MEMORIES.