Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

Giveaway ends April 08, 2017.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dad Date

Daddy and me.
Okay, picture us a few years older.
But just as cute . . .
I was on a date with my Dad.
The best of times.
I had been working at my 'first-official-job-wherein-Dad-was-not-my-boss' in Calgary, Alberta, and having the time of my life.
Have you noticed that saying 'having the time of your life' doesn't necessarily denote 'good' or 'bad'?
I mean, it could mean the worst time of one's life.
Or the best.
Just saying.
Moving on . . .
Dad had to come up to the big city on business and had stopped in to my work to ask the boss (whom he was good friends with and NO, that's not the reason I got the job. Not that I'm admitting anyway . . .) if he could take his best girl out on a date.
My boss smilingly agreed and I was free for the day.
There are perks to your father being good friends with your boss.
Dad took me to a football game.
It was a perfect day.
Crisp, cold air, but not too chilly.
Blue, blue sky.
Cloudless.
Okay, I'm remembering it how I want.
Dad and I had been sitting through the game.
Visiting.
Cheering on all of the guys in red, white and black.
I used to be a football cheerleader.
I had a vague idea of what the game entailed.
Get the ball across the opposing team's goal line.
By whatever means necessary.
Then hug the players if they won.
And especially if they lost.
But partway through the game, I had a blinding revelation.
“Dad, all of those players have spent all of this time fighting for control of the ball!”
Dad looked at me. “Yes,” he said, doubtfully.
“Well, I just had an idea!”
His eyes narrowed. Dad was used to my brilliant ideas.
“Go on,” he said.
“Well, if they're just going to fight over the ball,” I said, “why don't they just use two balls?”
Okay, we thought it was hilarious.
The guy in front of us? Not so much.
“Could you please shut up?” he demanded. “Some of us are trying to enjoy the game!”
We decided it was a good time for Dad to take me to dinner.
We went to my favourite restaurant.
The one I went to only when Dad was buying.
Old Spaghetti Factory.
Mmmm.
We were seated in the old trolley car that is central to every OSF restaurant.
Things were getting busy.
Soft music was playing.
Quiet talk and laughter around us.
Gentle chime of silverware on china.
Subdued, romantic lighting.
The server brought us our menus and fresh, warm bread with selections of butter, then withdrew while we sliced, ate and perused.
Dad was studying his menu.
“Can you read this?” he asked, finally.
I glanced down. “Ye-es,” I said, slowly.
“Well, I can't!”
Did I mention the 'subdued' lighting?
He pulled out a matchbook and proceeded to light a match.
Then used its light to read his menu.
The server sprinted towards our table.
“Problems, sir?” he asked.
Dad looked at him, lit match still in hand. “Nope.” Then turned back to his menu. “But I think my daughter and I are ready to order.”
There is nothing . . . nothing like a date with your dad.
Truly the time of my life.

18 comments:

  1. We never had a tradition like this, but I sure wish we had. It's lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Carol! It was definitely a high point! :)

      Delete
  2. Oh dear, I feel so related to this! I was very close to my Dad, so I understand all the feelings involved.
    Lovely story!!!
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Seeker! Dads are wonderful, aren't they?

      Delete
  3. I adore this. My dad used to take me to dinner every Sunday night when I was younger and broke. Such special times and I had to laugh out loud at "why don't they just use two balls?" Too funny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those memories are so special! Yeah. We still laugh at that one!

      Delete
  4. My goodness, you look like a little doll in that picture, Diane!

    I'm close to my dad, too - and there are times when we laugh so hard together the tears roll down our faces. Your dad sounds like a lot of fun :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heehee! Thank you! Laugh till we cried. Oh, I definitely have memories of that!

      Delete
  5. The Spaghetti factory of today is pretty rowdy. Forget the low lights. the event rooms are always busy with celebrations for soccer clubs, end-of-the year parties.
    We old folks go in for the early hours, get out before the families with kids.
    But it is still a delightful place, with great memories. Lovely post with love for your dad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We pretty much go there only for lunch now. And every time we do, I remember that date with Dad.

      Delete
  6. Old Spaghetti Factory? What a fabulous name for a restaurant!! I love it.
    I remember saying "give them a ball each and let them kick as many goals as they want", and saying it often whenever I got tired of all the football talk at work. I got booed at a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awwwww what a sweet memory! It makes me miss my own dad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dad are pretty special, aren't they?!

      Delete
  8. What a beautiful story! I remember times like these with my father and I definitely remember "The Spaghetti Factory". I hadn't thought about that restaurant in years! Thanks for sharing your memories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is nothing I like better than helping someone else bring back a memory! Thank you, Rena!

      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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