Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



All of My Friends

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What's in a Name?

Dr. Mark Reed Stringam.
My Dad.
Husband. Father. Grandfather. Great-grandfather. Adviser. Confidante. Friend.
Rancher extraordinaire. Breeder of purebred polled Herefords, single-handedly working to improve the beef industry in Alberta.
And succeeding.
With so great a man as his example, our eldest son could only profit from sharing his name.
And so, Mark, we decided to name him.
Enough background.
My parents had taken my husband, myself, and our two small sons to dinner to celebrate my birthday. It had been a lovely time. Wonderful roast beef for which the restaurant was famous. Wonderfully sparkling, satisfying conversation. Two well-behaved little boys. (Hey! This is my story. I can remember it the way I want!)
We were replete. On every level.
It was time to go.
Sigh.
I packed the baby into his carrier and my dad picked up Mark, his fourth grandson. The first named for him.
And we headed towards the door.
In the entry, we paused for a few moments, waiting for my Mom.
Mark Jr., safely ensconced in his grandfather's arms, began to look around. He discovered a pin in the lapel of his grandfather's suit jacket.
A shiny gold pin in the shape of a polled Hereford.
Oooh. Shiny.
The small hand reached out, caressing the fascinating bit of gold.
Pretty.
"Do you like that, Mark?"
"Mmmm."
"Do you know what it is?" A note of pride creeps into the grandfatherly voice.
Small head nodding.
"What is it?"
Our son, the namesake of the great Hereford breeder who was holding him, the small child who had been around cattle since he was born, could not help but get this right.
We waited breathlessly for the answer.
Mark screwed up his face thoughtfully. Then smiled.
"Pig!"
Oh, how have the mighty fallen . . .

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