Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



All of My Friends

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Past Mistakes


Okay, I'm not sure,
but I think this is what it looked like . . .
Dad had a new toy.
A small musical instrument called a ‘musette’.
The fact that he was in his first year of university didn’t stop him from playing it.
He and a group of friends were riding the streetcar home from Sunday Services.
They were a happy bunch.
Talking.
Laughing.
Dad was tinkering about on his new toy.
Much to the discomfort of the other passengers.
I should mention, here, that Dad has a beautiful singing voice.
I’ve never heard him play the musette.
Possibly because of what follows.
Moving on . . .
The streetcar conductor called back to the group of boys, “You! On the harmonica! Please stop playing!”
Dad stopped.
For a moment.
Then, thinking that the conductor could no longer hear him over the noise of the rest of the passengers, he started again.
“You! Stop playing or I’ll have to kick you off the bus!”
Dad sighed and dropped the musette into his lap.
He looked down at it.
Just one more . . .
“Okay. That’s it!
The bus slid to a sudden stop.
“You! With the harmonica! Off!”
Dad got to his feet.
“And the rest of you with him! Off!”
His friends looked at each other.
Then, disgusted, they too got to their feet and followed the author of their misfortunes off the bus.
And began the long walk back to the University.
Moving ahead seventy years . . .
My Husby and I had moved our family to Edmonton.
Six hours north of where I was raised.
I met an elderly couple at church.
We started to visit.
They discovered that my maiden name was Stringam.
“Well, who do you belong to?” the man asked.
“Mark is my dad,” I said proudly.
“Mark,” he said. Then, “Mark! He got me kicked off the streetcar!”
The good things we do are quickly forgotten.
The mistakes?
They go on forever.

14 comments:

  1. It's true....no one lets you forget.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "They haunt you forever" (label) ... And then they haunt your kids forever :) Wonderful story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. Your kids never let you forget either!

      Delete
  3. Such a funny reminder of how small a world it really is. What are the chances that you'd run into one of the "streetcar" guys so many years and so many miles away from home?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Karen! The odds are incredible! :)

      Delete
  4. Mistakes go on forever. Why is that I wonder? One little thing and it's talked about for years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. And the good things are forgotten . . .

      Delete
  5. That's for sure. Learned something new today - never heard of a "musette".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to look it up after Dad told me the story! :)

      Delete
  6. Reminds me of the old t-shirt: "Play the accordion, go to jail."

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love that story and I think it was wrong to throw them off!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, mistakes are usually remembered well. I have been a victim on that for more than one. One day I will share my jail experience. Mind you I wasn't charged with anything.
    I do love this story and blessings to you for the smiles today.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great story Diane! We once went to an friend's annual party and met a man who was one of my father's childhood/teenaged best friend. My father died when I was young and we sat together all afternoon while he told me wonderful stories about their antics. I was one of my most memorable days ever!

    ReplyDelete

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