Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Small Town (Lack of) Education


Milk River is a small place.
Hardly more than a dot on a map.
And, though it was the centre of my world, in a cosmopolitan sense, it would not be considered . . . well . . . cosmopolitan.
Oh, we had descendants of peoples from many places around the world.
Hungarian.
Swedish.
German.
Polish.
United Kingdom.
In fact, most of Europe.
But no African Americans.
In fact, the only people who weren't strictly white-skinned, were our few wonderful Japanese families.
Until I moved from Milk River after high school, I had never actually seen a dark-skinned person.
Move forward several years.
My Husby and I raised our family on a ranch near Fort Macleod, Alberta.
A wonderful town.
Comparative to Milk River in many respects.
Including the lack of people of African American descent.
After several years, we moved our family to Edmonton.
It was an education.
On many levels.
But especially in the 'race, creed and colour' department.
On to my story . . .
Shortly after our move, we decided to take our family swimming at the nearest facility.
They loved swimming.
All went well.
I was sitting in the children's pool with my youngest.
My two-year-old was playing nearby.
Suddenly he stopped.
Stared.
Then ran quickly to me.
“MOM!” he said excitedly, as only a two-year-old can. “LOOK! A CHOCOLATE MAN!”
All heads turned in our direction.
I felt myself flushing as I resignedly followed the pointing finger.
A dark-skinned man was walking along the side of the pool.
Oh, and he was looking, too.
Sigh.
I loved being raised in a small town.
It was peaceful.
Wonderful.
But some aspects of small town life definitely need work.
P.S. My youngest son also had an encounter with "Alladin" but that is another story.


12 comments:

  1. Children will say anything... parents never know what will come out of their mouths :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. They never say these things quietly do they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where's the fun if you can't embarrass someone??! Especially your mom?!

      Delete
  3. Oh how funny and typical.
    I just found out that the further north our ancestors went, the more vitamin D they needed so the skin became white in order to absorb it. The Inuit also adjusted to their climate by not having to sweat much. Sweating could be hazardous to your health up there in cold land. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fascinating! We fellow Canadians need a LOT of vitamin D. that must be what makes us so white and delightsome!

      Delete
  4. Of course you have to watch what you say around kids or expose your kids to. Some derrogatory terms come out at the worst times. I have a friend whose 3 year old daughter asked quite innocently: "Is that a diaper head?" when seeing a Sheik. Or: "Is that a gook or a zipper head?" The second example coming from the parents sitting down after putting the kids to bed and watching Gran Torino, only they weren't the only ones watching. With the grandkids I've really got to watch it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why do they only remember the wrong things?! And know to say them at the right/wrong times?!

      Delete
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  7. LOL that is so funny, I bet you wanted the ground to open up and swallow you:)

    ReplyDelete

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