Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

All-Day Hookey

So nice! Sigh.

I played hooky.
Once.
For those of you who don't know, 'hooky' is a term coined to describe being absent without leave.
In my case, I was absent from school.
And I didn't do it alone.
Maybe I should explain . . .
We were in grade twelve. For the last semester of my grade twelve year, I lived with Debbie's family, the Joneses, and attended school in the town of Magrath.
Our school bus arrived promptly every morning at 7:30.
After an hour and a half commute, we would arrive, sleepy and slightly dishevelled at the Magrath High School to begin a day of instruction.
One morning, one of us really wasn't in the mood.
Oh, she got up all right.
Got ready.
Endured the bus ride.
But, standing there in front of those venerable halls of learning, she balked.
“I don't wanna go,” Debbie said.
I stared at her. “What?”
“I don't wanna go,” she said again.
“Oh.” What did one say to that?
“Let's play hooky!”
“Debbie, we can't play hooky!”
“Yes we can! We've never done it and the semester, the year, the school experience is nearly over!”
She had a point. Both of us had been exemplary students.
Precisely what our fathers expected.
“Deb, my dad would kill me!”
“C'mon, Diane, it's only one day!”
I looked at her. Have I mentioned that Debbie was the only reason I ever got into trouble? Well she was . . .
At that point, our friend Leonard, he of the pick-up truck, appeared.
“Leonard! Take us to Lethbridge!” Leonard looked at Debbie. Then he looked at me. I shrugged.
“Okay,” he said.
. . . and she got other people into trouble, too.
The three of us trailed out of the school and into Leonard's pick-up.
There was plenty of room on the wide seat.
We settled in for the 12-minute ride to Lethbridge, a city of about 75,000 just to the north of Magrath.
For a guy, Leonard had a surprisingly clean truck. No trash rolling around. In fact, the only thing on the dashboard was his brand shiny new 'Western Horseman' magazine.
“Oooh!” I said, picking it up. “Is this the new issue?”
“Yep. Just picked it up this morning!”
“Do you mind if I read it?”
“Nope. Just don't damage it.”
Leonard took good care of his things. Obviously magazines were no exception.
“I'll be careful.” I sat back happily while the two of them chattered all the way to the city.
Lethbridge is not a huge place, but one with several malls and lots of shopping.
We spent the day going from one to another.
And having fun.
At one of our early stops, Debbie and I bought large lollipops.
Large.
On long sticks.
We spent the rest of the time . . . ummm . . . licking.
Before we knew it, it was time to head back to catch our bus. No sense in proclaiming that we had just spent the day somewhere other than where we should have been.
Leonard stopped his truck.
“This has been fun!” I told him. “C'mon Debbie, we'd better hurry!” I slid out.
At that point, a friend of Leonard's walked up to his window. “Hey, Leonard, where were you today?”
Distracted, Leonard turned to answer his friend.
Debbie started to follow me.
“Oh, my sucker,” she said, turning back.
Now Debbie had gotten tired of holding the heavy sucker and had laid it down. Not certain of the surface of the dash of Leonard's remarkably tidy truck, she had chosen to lay it down on his copy of the Western Horseman.
That same brand new copy he had been so protective of earlier.
She grabbed the long stick, only to realize that the magazine came with it. 
Uh-oh.
Not only had the sucker stuck to the cover of the magazine, but it had also stuck the pages together.
“Ummm . . .” Debbie glanced at Leonard, still engrossed in his conversation. “We'll just leave that,” she said, and slid out after me. “See ya, Leonard!” She slammed the door.
Leonard, still talking, waved cheerfully and the two of us headed for our bus.
Leonard never mentioned his sucker-stuck magazine.
The one he obviously never got to read.
After he had toted two girls all over Lethbridge.
Some fellow hookey-players are just plain nice.

18 comments:

  1. I played hookey once too, in grade 10. Fun at the time, but the next day of school was not so fun when I had to tell the principal the truth, because Mom would not give me a note of excuse.
    That was the first and the last for me!
    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes the punishment fits the crime! And sometimes . . . :)

      Delete
  2. A cute story as usual! It sparked a memory of a time I went MIA too.
    Blessings for the memory and smiles today!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My mom taught at my high school ... so the only time I ever played hooky was a late June day of my grade 12 year, along with all but two of my fellow classmates ... one was the top student and the other one tied with me for second place ... my mom didn't say much but I was always glad I went :) We just went for an extended walk in the surrounding woods and fields, found a garter snake, got some exercise ...

    And whatever happened to your friend Debbie? Are you still in touch with her?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly what we thought. The semester's almost over. The year's almost over. High School is almost over. What are they gonna do?!
      I've completely lost track of Debbie. Which makes me sad. She had a profound effect on my life. She was creative, mischievous and just plain funny. I miss her!

      Delete
  4. I so get the horror of that lollipop on the favorite mag!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. Pretty glad I wasn't around when he made the final discovery. I have only this to say. It wasn't my sucker!

      Delete
  5. I admit I played hooky a couple of times in high school. It always reminds me of The Little Rascals playing hooky. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Little Rascals! Only caught a couple of episodes. I'll have to find that one . . .

      Delete
  6. I never played hooky - I was so darn boring - but I wish I had. There seem to be a lot of stories about you, your friends and magazines :)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. The first reminded me of the second. That Debbie. She changed my life! :)

      Delete
  7. I never played hooky in my life. I'll make a note to do it next time round, it sounds like fun.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Played hooky myself. Once. Senior Skip Day, when 90% of the class went to a lake for sunburning and kissing. :-)

    Caught my boyfriend in the water with someone else.

    Wonder how Leonard explained the lollipop to his friend.

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whaaaa . . .? The skunk!
      Yeah. I wondered myself . . .

      Delete
  9. Gives new meaning to "Keeping up with the Jonses"! Have I got a story for you! I'm saving it for the day after Thanksgiving though! You will just have to let the suspense build hahahaha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keeping up the the Joneses. Bwahahaha! Totally does!
      Okay, totally anticipating your story!

      Delete

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