Buy what you have no need of and …

Published 6:20 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

Benjamin Franklin said “Buy what you have no need of and you will soon be selling your necessities.”

Daddy subscribed to Mr. Franklin’s theory, especially when it came to cars, new cars. They were high-ticket items, he said, and they weren’t worth the money they cost. So, we drove clunkers.

Daddy found a real deal on a vomit green Ford station wagon trimmed with wood panels and a front side door that swung open when you made a sharp turn.

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But, Daddy said we had a need for it.

 He also said we didn’t have a need for a television set. Thank goodness, he saw a need for a window fan.

Daddy wanted me to have a college education so he saw a need for a well-used, white Rambler Station Wagon.

 I drove the “wagon” to Troy State College for three-plus years. The day I graduated Daddy held out his hand for the key. He had need of it.

I was a college graduate. I had a need for a brand-new car.  So, I went to Toby Ray Chevrolet in Brundidge and ordered a brand new sporty lavender Camaro straight out of the factory.

I signed my name to a $3,200 loan at Brundidge Banking Company. Two weeks later, I was under the wheel of the car I had need of.

“Petunia” and I were on the road to the Florida Panhandle where I was to teach at a rural school bordered by cotton fields of both sides.

So, I was in high cotton. I was making $3,600 a year. I was in good financial shape until Uncle Sam picked my pockets. Petunia didn’t look so needed anymore.

I was fast learning that Mr. Benjamin Franklin and Daddy were right.  “If you buy what you have no need of, you will soon be selling your necessities. And, it was hard lesson to learn but I learned it well.

Years back, I had the opportunity to purchase a well-used car Honda with 32,000 obviously hard miles.

I signed the deal on May Day, so I christened her, Maybelle   

She was a good deal. I drove her for 10 years, so she was as comfortable as my grandmother’s old cotton quilts.

So, when Maybelle was in need of a paint job, Deedie Carter and I painted her like an old patchwork quilt.

Willie Moultry kept her running for more than 300,000 miles.

Maybell is memorialized as a yard ornament in my back yard.

Daddy was right. To paraphrase him:  Buy only what you have need of … and you will still have your necessities.