Dad was making a trip into town to see Mr. Hofer.
His insurance agent.
My brother, George, and I fought over who would be the first in the car.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering what there could possibly be at an insurance agent's office that would interest two children, aged six and four, respectively.
It would be a legitimate question.
Maybe I should explain . . .
Mr. Hofer had an office in the old railroad station in Milk River.
It was an unremarkable place.
Certificate and picture-hung walls.
Creaky, wood floors.
Heavy, smooth oak chairs with arms.
Tall, wooden filing cabinets.
Stacks of folders and papers.
And in one corner, a very serviceable desk, piled high with paperwork.
It smelled of old building.
Dust, books and paper.
On the surface, there really was nothing that would entrance and amaze . . . umm . . . anyone.
But Mr. Hofer's office held a secret.
A very special secret.
Hidden deep in the very bottom drawer of that oh, so serviceable desk.
A secret accessible only upon reports/illustrations of exemplary behaviour.
A whole heap of magic.
In shiny, brown wrappers.
But we couldn't ask for them.
We had to wait patiently and quietly, seated in those hard wooden chairs, while Dad conducted his business.
Trying hard to look anywhere but at that drawer.
Then, if we had been 'good', we would be invited over.
The much-anticipated drawer opened.
And the treasure revealed.
Only then could we avail ourselves of the treat.
Between you and I, Dad didn't visit his insurance agent nearly enough.
|Well worth the wait.|