Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Monday, August 25, 2014

Boy's Toys

It's time for our family's annual trek to beautiful Banff, Alberta.
Hiking. Swimming. Climbing. Games. Reading.
Family.
We are staying at a beautiful hotel. Comfortable.
Even luxurious.
The only thing it lacks is a steady connection to the internet.
Sigh.
Posts for the next few days may be spotty.
Inconsistent.
Or completely absent.
Sorry!
You know I love you!
Picture it green. And nickel-plated.

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 Husby'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?”
Husby 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!”
Husby's dad had to see it. Then shook his head and snickered.
Yes. Snickered.
“I knew it!”
Later, Husby 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,” Husby said.
The officer and his trusty flashlight began a systematic search for 'things wrong'.
Lights.
Brake lights.
High/low beams.
Horn. Husby pulled out the ashtray.
The horn honked loudly.
The officer swung his flashlight back to the console.
“Do that again!” he said.
Husby 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.
It's definitely my loss.

24 comments:

  1. Every guy has got to have at least (1) toy. You've met (and ridden in) Ed, the '47 Ford pickup, and you've also met 'Chas,' the green jellybean, the car I'm sitting behind the wheel in, whenever I'm on Facebook. Then there's Dale, and June, and Brownie, and Albert, and... Kenzie has got to pick the name for her car...

    ReplyDelete
  2. They don't make them like that anymore, sadly! Have fun in Banff! It's so beautiful there. I've only been in the winter to ski, but I would love to go this time of year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is sad! You need to see Banff in the summer! There's nothing like it!

      Delete
  3. Perfect timing for this as my teenager has been arguing with us over what car he wants to buy, haha! I need to show him this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do it! And tell him you'll buy him all the green and/or silver paint he wants . . .

      Delete
  4. My sister in law used to have a little green Morris Minor which we named The Aphid...but it wasn't nickel plated...anywhere!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's a shame you never got to meet the frog, but at least you've heard the stories :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. All those hours spent tinkering with The Frog kept him off the roads and out of trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Heading out to the garage to lay down on the floor and look at the undercarriage of my son's car . . .

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm still trying to process the bit about honking the horn by pulling out the ashtray! Obviously your husby's sense of humour extended to his vehicle repairs as well!

    Enjoy your holiday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to have seen that! He tried to explain how he did it, but my non-mechanical brain just went to sleep. I'm sure it was exciting! :)
      And thank you! We've already had one broken bone, so things are progressing normally!

      Delete
  9. Haha, love it! Especially the nickel-plating...sounds like a snazzy vee-hick-le! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like the frog was quite the truck! Enjoy Banff - you will be missed; but we will be here when you get back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Susan! It's so nice to know I have my friends! :)

      Delete

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