Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Comics to Wine

Life on a ranch in the 1950s was a world unto itself.
A place where a family could grow together, leaning on each other.
Quiet. Peaceful.
Isolated.
A place where the world seldom intruded.
Except for that . . . erm . . . exception . . .
Three brothers were growing up on their family farm.
Just down the road from a Hutterite colony.
Both settlements were rather remote.
But it’s hard to say which was the most un-worldly.
The three teen boys had comic books.
Something the Hutterite boys wanted.
The Hutterite boys had access to homemade wine.
Something the brothers wanted.
The two groups made a bargain. Comic books for wine.
The only obstacle to the conclusion of their mutual agreement was the actual . . . conclusion.
Because neither family approved.
Go figure . . .
They finally worked it out.
The brothers would leave their offering of comic books at a pre-appointed spot in a nearby field.
The Hutterite boys would retrieve said books and leave, in their place, a bottle of the colony’s finest.
This went on for some time.
To the mutual satisfaction of all parties.
Reading and drinking were continuing apace.
Then, that eye-opening event.
When the boy’s dad brought home a bottle of wine.
From the same colony--but carried in through the front door and in full sight of all who lived there.
Huh. Weird.
The boys were given a glass.
And discovered that the colony’s best they had been receiving really wasn’t.
The best, that is.
Hmmm . . . who do you complain to when your ultra-clandestine deal goes awry?
Exactly.

3 comments:

  1. It depends on how bright you are. A local individual made the papers when he went to the police to complain that his marijuana crop had been stolen...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bwahahaha! That's right up there with the crook who robbed a bank, then showed up later at the same bank to deposit the money . . .

      Delete
  2. First the post, then the comment, then the reply - my smile just kept getting wider :)

    ReplyDelete

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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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