Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

1950's Communication

As I was driving to the city for an appointment yesterday, I saw two trucks stopped on a frontage road paralleling the highway.
They had been travelling in opposite directions and had pulled over next to each other in the centre of the road so the drivers could chat.
It brought back memories . . .
In the fifties, in the sparsely-inhabited and phoneless outer ranchlands of Southern Alberta, neighbours didn’t see each other much. Busy with ranch demands and family life, they only got together at county shindigs and the occasional branding or barn dance.
Oh, they travelled the same roads to and from the nearest towns, but the chance of running into one another on those long trails was slim to nil.
When it did happen, it was cause for excitement . . .
A cloud of dust appears on the horizon, slowly coalescing into a dark spec. Then into a vehicle.
As it draws closer, said vehicle is recognized – a friend or person who is not yet a friend.
The vehicle slides to a stop in the middle of the road.
Your car does the same and you look out to see that the other person is already leaning on his crossed arms out his open window – ready for a chat.
Everyone in each vehicle crowds around their driver for a peek and a listen.
Inevitably, there’s a few minutes of chatter, beginning with: “Well, Enes! I haven’t seen you in dog’s years! How are you? The kids? And how’s Mark?”
And Mom’s answer: “Oh, everyone’s fine. Busy. You know.”
“Heading into town?”
“Oh yeah. This crew never stops eating. And I have to make a call at the hardware and the shoemakers.”
“Yeah, the missus sent me on much the same errands. Oh, she’d like to drop by sometime, if that’s okay.”
“I’m always happy to see her! Tell her to bring the kids down for an afternoon. They could go swimming.”
“Had any rain at the ranch? We’re so dry, the birds are building their nests out of barbed wire and the trees are bribing the dogs.”
“You still have birds? And Dogs?”
“Good one.”
This goes on for some time. Until one or the other realizes that they have to be somewhere . . .
Then it ends with: “Well, better get back. I’ve got ice cream and we all know how much it likes this hot weather! Could you please tell Mark that I’ve got those bulls that need testing and we still haven’t done our vaccinating. Maybe have him stop by?”
“I’ll do that.”
“And you and the kids come by any time! The pot’s always on and you know you’re always welcome!”
The driver shifts into gear and, with a wave, heads off down the road.
We continue our trip, with us kids all swivelled around to watch the truck disappear into another cloud of dust.
Communication.
On the prairies. 
In the fifties.
It was always personal, neighbourly and eye-to-eye.
And you took it when you could get it.
Where you headin'?
P.S We kids often re-enacted the whole visiting-on-the-road scenario. When playing with toy cars, we would inevitably stop beside someone else and discuss plans - which usually included going for groceries.
P.P.S. It was even funnier when we were playing with model planes. Did you know those guys can hover? Well, when they see someone they know, they can hang there for inordinate amounts of time and discuss the weather.



17 comments:

  1. So much I love about internet and cell phones, but what we're missing more and more is looking each other in the eye. Pleasantries? No time for that in a text.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bare minimum and no eye contact. Sigh.

      Delete
  2. This was a fun look at something we didn't really do in my community, seeing as we lived on the Trans-Canada Highway and there were a lot of tractor trailers using it. (Before the Trans-Canada we had the little meandering highway, on the other side of our house, but it was also the main road at that point so it was still not a good idea to stop and chat :) ...)

    I love the photo illustration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes. I'd have to agree. When living on a major route, alternate forms of communication must be found! :)

      Delete
  3. We did that. And when we were at the store, even for a few things, it took forever because you had to stop and chat to everyone.
    I did like living in a community. And miss it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazing, isn't it, that those old ways take on a whole new meaning now. I miss it, too!

      Delete
  4. That could happen driving through town as well. I remember being with Dad many times when that happened. And when I started driving, the same thing. It's too bad that life got so busy that no one has time to stop in the middle of the street to chat. Maybe we should take some irons out of the fire and slow down to enjoy more of life's little treasures...

    ReplyDelete
  5. That used to happen when we lived in KY, but here well I don't know anyone to talk to haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm the same. I barely know my neighbours!

      Delete
  6. So much better than cell phones!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Reminds me of my town childhood; if two mums were outside hanging washing, they didn't get back in until they'd leaned on the fence and had a good chat, sometimes one would hop the fence and go into the other house for a cup of tea and the chat would continue all morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. Such peaceful, unhurried times!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. At the risk of sounding trite: Those were the days! :)

      Delete
  9. Yes, those were the days!
    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

All of My Friends

Daughter of Ishmael

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

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

Compass Book Ratings

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?