top of page

Granddaddy's Ten Rules For Livin'

While thinking about a blog for this week, I came across a newspaper article which I wrote some time ago. Rufus, an elderly mountain man, writes a letter to his cousin, Cletus, in typical Ozark brogue.

Dear Cousin Cletus,

Ah saw on the calendar thet January sixth is comin’ up. Do you ‘member whose birthday that is? Ah woulda forgot, ‘cept Cousin Zeb down a Lem’s Gen’ral Store reminded me. It’s Granddaddy’s birthday.

You ‘member when we wuz teenagers and got us jobs at the sawmill, Cletus? We wuz getting’ full of ourselves, makin’ fifty cent a hour. And when Granddaddy saw we wuz getting’ puffed up, he set down and made us ten rules fer livin’. He feared we’d git outside the holler and it would be the ruination of us.

Wahl, ah found mah copy. Here’s whut Granddaddy Ledbetter wrote:


1. Give yore boss a honest day’s work fer yer pay. Make him glad he hired you.

2. Respect yer elders.

3. Don’t drink, smoke or chew, and don’t run with them whut do.

4. Cussin’ is fer small-minded people whut wants other people to think they got a big vocabulary.

5. Thank the Good Lord ever’ day fer yer blessins.

6. It ain’t Uncle Sam’s job to give you a house and put food on yer table. Git busy and work yoreself.

7. Pay yer debts on time.

8. Stay away from loose wimmen. You can tell who they is ‘cause they don’t wear ‘nuff clothes to wad a shotgun.

9. When you find a girl you want to grow old with, marry her, THEN move in together. Don’t get it backward.

10. Don’t be afeerd to take the blame when you done somethin’ wrong. Humility is good fer a body.

There ‘s Granddaddy’s rules, Cletus. Mebbe ah’l frame thet old paper and give it to mah grandkids.

Yore Cuz,


What about you? Any thoughts to add? Feel free to use the comments box below.


bottom of page