Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

No Ordinary Insurance Agent

Dad was making a trip into town to see Mr. Hovan.

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. Hovan 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 anyone.
But Mr. Hovan's office held a secret.
A very special secret hidden deep in the very bottom drawer of that oh, so serviceable desk and 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.

20 comments:

  1. I've never wanted to live in that era and place as much as I do today, with the goings on around us. Ah, a few moments there via your blog, so nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Carol! Some days, I wish for those moments so much . . .

      Delete
  2. Now that would take the sting out of visiting the insurance office, even at my age!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nothing's better than a Hershey Bar :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well remembered. But that was Mr. Hovan; Mr. Hofer lived north of town on a farm...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I thought so! Changing it now . . .

      Delete
  5. That was a smart insurance agent! I don't know of anybody who gives good service like that now. I haven't even talked to our insurance agent in about five years! It's all automatic, a yearly communication via regular mail. I'll have to buy myself a Hershey bar when the letter comes this year :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't even know my insurance agent...

      Delete
  6. two small children sitting quietly all that time just for a chocolate bar?? Did you at least have books to read or did you just sit?
    The only thing I ever did specifically for chocolate was walk. Dad stood me in the middle of the room walked away a bit and held out some chocolate. I walked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd walk...
      And no, I don't remember hving anything to occupy myself. Just the anticipation...

      Delete
  7. I'd sit for chocolate too. I'm easily bribed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too. Put chocolate on a hubcap, I'd eat it!

      Delete
  8. sounds like a beginning of a true love affair with chocolate. I'd sit still for one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, so true! It would still work today!

      Delete
  9. I remember those Hershey bars!
    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  10. There is still alot to be said for the power of a Hershey Bar!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if we could use it to bring World peace?

      Delete

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