Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Getting Pinched

Five of the six siblings. Husby is the cutie on the far right.
Family travel in the late fifties was . . . interesting.
I don’t know how we survived it.
The kids were herded, en masse, into the back seat of the car and the door was shut.
The youngest invariably rode up front, between Mom and Dad.
No one was buckled in.
The kids rolled around in the back seat like dried peas.
Interaction between the two quadrants of the car was usually accomplished by someone in back standing up and leaning comfortably over the front seat.
As a sop to safety, the driver often extended an arm sideways when braking.
Yep. Interesting.
Six-year-old Husby was travelling with his family.
Mom. Dad. Six kids.
Their sedan was hurtling over paved roads at speeds close to 60 MPH.
They passed a road sign.
Suggested speed – 60 MPH.
“Dad.” Husby was standing up, leaning over the seat. “What does that sign mean?”
His dad glanced at the sign. “That means we’re supposed to travel at sixty miles-per-hour,” he said. He pointed to the speedometer. “See?”
“Oh.”
Just then, another car sped past them, obviously going far faster than the ‘suggested’ speed.
“How come that guy is going faster?”
“Because he isn’t obeying the law.”
“Oh.”
Things were quiet for a moment. Well, as quiet as a car carrying eight people can be.
Then, “Dad. What happens if you go too fast?”
“The police will pinch you.”
“Oh.”
Husby thought about this for a long time. The police will ‘pinch’ you?
Obviously it was something to be avoided and/or feared. Husby had been pinched before. It was momentarily painful, but not terribly so. The police must do something really different to make people afraid of being pinched.
Finally, “Dad? When the police pinch you, do they use pliers?”
A six-year-old mind hard at work . . .


12 comments:

  1. Hahaha! Well, that WOULD be a tad greater deterrent!

    My goodness, yes, I can remember sitting right on the edge of the middle of the back seat, the better to see the road and talk to my parents. I had only one sibling, who was a few years older than me, so I had my parents AND the back seat to myself after he stopped traveling with us on our weekly trip to town for library books and groceries. It's a wonder any of us survived :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really could roll around in the back seat! Glad you survived! :)

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  2. I remember those days of freedom...no seat belts...sit in the front if you want too....not safe but so much more comfortable.

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG no way! I love that he asked whether the police used pliers. Also? I so remember driving on my dad's lap, riding in the back back of my Grandma's station wagon, and being like eight deep with cousins in that back. Seatbelts weren't even heard of really. I mean, I think (?) the cars had them, but they were an afterthought and we certainly didn't have children's 5-point harnessed car seats! Great post!!! Love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kristi! Ah the total freedom of being piled into a car like cordwood with a thousand cousins! When seatbelts first came out and had a little buzzer alarm if they weren't done up, my parents would buckle them together behind the passenger and just leave them like that. Safety! Pfff.

      Delete
  4. Pliers!
    I'm wiping laugh tears from my eyes here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heehee! You've obviously never been on the wrong side of the law! :)

      Delete
  5. I can just picture this whole thing. I do wonder how we survived without seat belts. Yup! pliers would do the job.
    Blessings for laugh that just joined the smile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, LeAnn! We must have lived charmed lives! I know the threat of pliers would definitely make me think twice!

      Delete
  6. This is too funny!! Gawd, I remember the four of us kids bouncing along in a statin wagon without set belts on a cross country trip to Texas. My, how times have changed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? I remember being turned backward, with the book I was reading on the seat and all of me on the floor. Good times!

      Delete

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