Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Frog


When my Husby was a teenager, he bought an old truck.
Which he painted green.
Forever after, it was known as The Frog.
And became a common sight on the streets of Fort MacLeod, Alberta.
The Frog was Grant's pride and joy.
He loved tinkering with it.
Often, his father commented on the amount of time spent with that old truck.
And the dollars.
“What are you doing now?” he asked one day. “Nickle-plating it?”
Grant laughed, but an idea was born.
He bought a small tin of aluminium paint.
Then crawled under the truck.
Scraped the rust and dirt off the chassis.
And painted it.
Shortly thereafter (oooh! good word) his father took the truck down to the local shop to have the oil changed.
The mechanic slid underneath to begin proceedings.
“Hey!” he shouted. “It's chrome-plated under here!”
Grant's dad had to see it.
He just shook his head and snickered.
Yes. Snickered.
“I knew it!”
Later, Grant and many, many friends were heading to a youth activity down near the river in Lethbridge.
The cab of the truck was stuffed with young bodies.
And the back with many more.
A policeman pulled them over.
“Have you been drinking?” he asked my Husby.
“No, officer,” came the respectful reply.
It's my story, I'll tell it how I want.
Moving on . . .
“No officer. We are just heading to a youth activity.”
“Well you have a taillight out,” the officer said. “While we're at it, let's give this truck the once-over.”
“Okay,” Grant said.
The officer and his trusty flashlight began a systematic search for 'things wrong'.
Lights.
Brake lights.
High/low beams.
Horn.
Grant pulled out the ashtray.
The horn honked loudly.
The officer swung his flashlight back to the console.
“Do that again!” he said.
Grant pulled out the ashtray.
HONK!
“This thing belongs in a museum!”
He was right.
I never got to meet The Frog.
It had been sold long before I came on the scene.
But my Husby has described it.
And the many adventures they shared.
Good stories.

8 comments:

  1. Did the cop look under at the chrome plated chassis?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't you just see it? Poking the flashlight under the truck. A flash of brilliant silver. Oh, it's too delicious!

      Delete
  2. One of a kind, one of the family. I'll bet his father loved it as much as your husband loved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. His dad was SOOO proud of him! He thought it was hilarious.

      Delete
  3. I love old cars. I wish my Dad would have updated the 57 olds he had. It had an airplane engine in it and was all chrome and solid like a tank.
    Well insulated too. I loved that car.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those were real cars. Solid. They didn't crumple like a tin can if someone ran into them. Sigh. I miss them.

      Delete
  4. I'm sure glad I didn't sell my first truck. I've still got it 45 years later...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? You get it. You're my hero.

      Delete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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