Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



All of My Friends

A huge Thank You to everyone who entered the Goodreads Draw!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

Giveaway ends April 08, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In a Small Town...

It was my first exposure to 'small town politics'.
Not a pleasant experience.
And I'll never forget it . . .
When I was in grade five, a new family moved to our town.
Parents, children.
The father had been offered the top position in one of the numerous churches in Milk River.
I first learned of the family when I met their daughter - I'm going to call her Sally - on the first day of school in September.
She was a sweet, quiet little girl. Funny.
With shoulder-length, soft brown hair.
And freckles.
We started visiting.
And discovered we had many interests (ie. boys) in common.
We started to 'hang out'.
I invited Sally to my house.
And she reciprocated.
I remember my first visit to her home.
Her parents were very glad to see me.
Almost tearful in their welcome.
It seemed a bit odd that parents would be so interested in one of their children's friends.
But I shrugged it off.
Because they were kind.
And there was a safe, peaceful feeling in their home.
Almost like being in my own.
They asked me about myself and our family.
Seemed very fascinated by every aspect of my life.
Served Sally and I a piece of cake.
I should mention, here, that this was the first time I had ever seen someone serve chocolate layer cake with a dollop of raspberry jam between the layers.
Jam wasn't my favourite thing at any time.
Though the cake was delicious.
Moving on . . .
As I was preparing to leave, Sally's mom gave me a hug and thanked me for being her daughter's friend.
I smiled.
I liked her daughter.
I liked the whole family.
After that, Sally and I were together a lot.
Hanging out at school.
Hanging out at each other's homes.
One day, we were sitting out on her front lawn.
Visiting.
A group of my friends showed up and gathered around us.
For a few minutes, I was happy to have all of my favourite people together.
Then the rest of them got up to go, asking me if I wanted to come with them.
“No. I'm staying here with Sally,” I told them.
“Why do you hang out with her?” one of my friends demanded. “The whole town hates them!”
I stared at him.
The town hated my friend?
I had never heard of such a thing.
My friends left.
But I sat there and turned that statement over in my ten-year-old mind.
The town hated my friend and her family.
Hated.
Weird.
I looked at Sally.
I looked at her kind, caring family.
Now some of what they had said and done began to make sense.
Their almost tearful excitement over Sally having a friend.
Their interest in me.
I talked to my parents about it.
They looked at each other.
“I don't know why,” my dad said. “But for some reason, the reverend has gotten off on the wrong foot with other members of the congregation.”
“But I was told the whole town hated them.”
“Well, not the whole town,” Mom said. “And we certainly don't.”
I shrugged it off.
And kept on being Sally's friend.
I helped them scrub egg off the front of their house.
Wondering, at the time, how on earth they had managed to spill eggs clear up there.
I kept Sally with me when other kids at school teased her.
I didn't understand any of it.
These were wonderfully kind, sweet people.
Caring.
Considerate.
How could everyone not see that?
One day, Sally wasn't at school.
I walked over to her house.
It was empty.
She and her family had moved.
Gone back to where they came from.
For weeks, I was sad.
She had been my friend.
I had loved playing with her.
And now she was gone.
A new family moved into Sally's house.
A new leader for her church.
Someone who didn't 'get off on the wrong foot'.
They stayed.
But I never forgot Sally.
My friend with the soft brown hair and freckles.
Or my first experience with small town prejudice.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing Diane - So sad that politics even affects children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Mari. It seems the children are always the most affected...

      Delete
  2. What a shame. If only people would think. I'm glad she had you for a friend while she was there, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked her. And her family. I'll never forget them.

      Delete
  3. I'm wondering just who it was that got so offended by "the wrong foot" that he couldn't have apologised and started over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I know for a fact he never abused or murdered anyone. Apart from that what can't be forgiven by a kiss or a handshake?

      Delete
  4. This is awful. I am certain that she remembers you too.
    The ugly side of politics. Small or large.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sad that it always seems to include the children...

      Delete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

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 . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?