Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta
From the 50s and 60s to today . . .
All of My Friends
Saturday, March 28, 2015
The Heir's Hairs
Don't let the boy-scout outfit fool you.
By request: The further adventures of Uncle and Nephew . . .
Influencing the young and innocent. Even in families, it's not always a good thing . . .
My Dad is the youngest of eleven children. If anyone asks him if he is related to Owen (his eldest brother) he tells them: Distantly. He's at one end of the family and I'm at the other.
When my Dad was nine, said eldest brother lived close by with his family. A wife and their eldest son, two-year-old Brian. Brian adored his much older uncle. He toddled along after 'Unca Mark' whenever he could. Usually a good thing. Occasionally . . . not. My Dad had the twice-daily chore of milking the cow. Brian loved to go along. Just because. It was a fun, companionable time for the two boys. All was well. One day, Brian's mother sat him in a chair in the kitchen and prepared to give her small son a haircut. She combed the unruly locks into submission. "Ouch!" Brian said. "Sorry, dear, but you have some tangles." "Ouch!" Brian said again. "Mo-om!" "Almost through." "Ouch!" Brian glared at his mom. "If you do that again, I'm going to say 'Sunny Beach'!" His mother stopped combing. "What?" "I'm going to say 'Sunny Beach'." "What?" she asked again. "Suunnny Beeeach," he said slowly and patiently. Light dawned an her mouth popped open in horror."You mean 'Son of a . . .'" She gripped his small shoulder. "Where did you hear that?!" He stared at her, not understanding her panic. She gave his shoulder a little shake. "Where did you hear that?!" "That's what Unca Mark says when the cow kicks him!" Two things resulted from that haircut. 1. Brian actually did get his hair shortened. 2. "Unca Mark' received a bistering lecture on language and its proper uses. Oh! And . . . 3. I just realized that, when it came to cursing and getting after . . . erm . . . someone(see here), my Dad didn't have a leg to stand on.
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 . . .