Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wave! It might be someone we know!


Ready to head to town!

The Stringam Ranch was twenty miles from the Town of Milk River.
For the first twelve miles out of town, you were passing through other ranch properties.
So your chances of meeting another motorist were pretty good.
After that, there was just one destination.
The Stringam Ranch.
Any traffic that came out that far needed emergency veterinarian assistance.
Or knew the family.
And the spread that appeared around mealtimes.
This is a long-winded way of telling you that, on any given trip into town, Dad knew every single driver that we passed.
A cloud of dust would appear on the horizon, growing larger.
Finally a small dark spot could be detected, right at the base of said cloud.
The speck grew larger.
And larger.
Finally became recognizable as a vehicle.
Dad would slow down and pull over to the right side of the road.
Because lines hadn’t been introduced into our part of the country.
And who could paint a line on dirt anyway?
Moving on . . .
The other driver would also slow and pull to his right.
The two would give each other a friendly wave.
And continue on.
Whereupon (good word) I would bob up out of wherever.
“Dad! Who was that?”
“That was Mr. Angel.”
“Oh.”
I would disappear again.
Another vehicle.
Another wave.
Me bobbing up.
“Dad! Who was that?”
“Mr. and Mrs. Lindeman.”
“Oh.”
As we grew closer to town, the vehicles were more numerous.
“Dad! Who was that?”
“Mrs. Swanson.”
“Oh.”
I should mention that there was one vehicle that I recognized.
Even as a four-year-old.
It was an old car, driven very, very slowly.
I don’t remember what year or model though my brother, George, will.
It was driven by a hat.
I am not kidding.
A hat.
A nice men’s hat.
I would stare in astonishment as this particular, peculiar vehicle drove past.
Yep.
Just a hat.
It was the one time during our entire trip that I wouldn’t bother my dad.
Because I knew who that hat was.
It was Grampa Balog.
After it passed, I would slump down on the seat.
Why couldn’t I have a hat for a Grampa?
A hat that could drive cars.
Some kids have all the luck.
Moving ahead several years . . .
Yesterday, I was driving with one of my grandkids.
One of the hundred-or-so cars that we passed was driven by someone I knew.
I waved.
“Grama! Who was that?”
And I was instantly transported back fifty-plus years.
I was four years old again.
And my Dad knew everyone on the road.

10 comments:

  1. Isn't it fun when we see things come full circle:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gives you a little tingle down your spine doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does! As my Dad always says - what goes around, comes around . . .

      Delete
  3. I need to add a pipe to the mix. There was a hat and a pipe driving that old truck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rats! How did I miss the pipe?! That sounds like a rather important part of the scene . . .

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Grampa Balog. He was a hat. And, I have been informed, a pipe.

      Delete
  5. Isn't it funny how our memories are triggered by such simple occurrences? I love my trips down Memory Lane. They make me smile. Just like your stories. What a rich life you have, lady! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love living in the past. the more I remember, the more there is to remember. It's a peaceful place!

      Delete

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