Douglas Brinkley’s article on the Model “T” (“Prime Mover,” June/July 2003) reminded me that my grandfather owned one as early as 1914 in Attleboro, Massa- chusetts. I have a photo taken of him in.1917, decked out in boots and spurs, about to mount his trusty Ford to lead a town parade in support of the first Massachusetts boys to go off to camp with the 26th Division in World War I.
I smile to remember what he called “The Four-Cylinder Psalm”:
The Ford is my Auto. I shall not want (another)..
Yea! Though I ride through the valley,
I am towed up the hills.
My radiator boileth over.
I anoint my tires with patches
in the presence of mine enemies
Its rods and its crankshaft discomfort me
Surely, if this thing shall follow me
all the days of my life,
I shall dwell in the bughouse forever. Amen.”
Like so many, my grandfather eventually forsook his flivver. Once, when I asked Grandpa if he didn’t like Fords, he replied, “I’ve just outgrown them, boy. I’m a Studebaker man now, cut-glass side vases and all.”
Benjamin C. M. Priest
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