Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Not Your Ordinary Insurance Agent


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.
Slat-covered windows.
Certificate and picture-hung walls.
Creaky, wood floors.
Heavy, smooth oak chairs with arms.
Tall, wooden filing cabinets.
Stacks of folders and papers.
Bookcases.
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.
Hershey bars.
But we couldn't ask for them.
Oh, no.
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.
Mmmmmmmmmmmm.
Perfection.
Between you and I, Dad didn't visit his insurance agent nearly enough.

Well worth the wait.

14 comments:

  1. They don't make insurance agents like that anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sometimes he even had coconut candybars.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ewww. Coconut?! Actually I love it now. Then . . .?!

      Delete
  3. My experience was similar with my Dad, but it was his farm machinery sales & parts manager who had the desk drawer full of yummy stuff. His shop and office was in the next town, 30+ miles to the north, so it made for a good outing for a young kid. I remember that Dad and Willard (the manager guy) would sit and talk their business while the repair parts were being assembled -- and then just before we left the office, Willard would open that big bottom drawer and fill a paper lunch-type bag with chocolate goodies. He'd hand it to my Dad, and with a wink in my direction he would always say "Here's some chicken for supper, Ray. Thanks for the business."
    I still like "chicken" for supper. Or any other time of the day . . . .

    Anonymous Husby-to-Diane Chicken Farmer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A WHOLE BAG???!!! Hmm . . . I'm going to have to re-think the generosity of my agent . . .

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. That must be what made it taste so sweet!

      Delete
  5. That's so sweet. :-)

    (And yes - I'm being punny.)

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
  6. You sat and behaved yourselves for what must have seemed like hours.....for a chocolate bar?
    Yikes!
    I've tasted Hershey's chocolate, and didn't like it. Our Australian chocolate is different, although I'm not sure what the difference is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you kidding? My parents could get me to CLEAN MY ROOM for a chocolate bar! and that was the worst job of all! We're planning a trip Down Under in the near future and I'm going to have taste this Australian Chocolate! I already love the black licorice purported to come from there . . .

      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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