Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lessons Learned

Who knew listening to their music could be so . . . educational.
Hey, hey, we're the Monkees
And people say we monkey around,
But we're too busy singing
To put anybody down.

It was 1966.
My cousin, Jody, and I had just discovered the wonderful, magical, empowering world of rock and roll.
And LP records.
The perfect pairing.
Now we could listen to the exciting new music whenever and however we wanted.
Which was all of the time.
And loudly.
Hey, hey, we're the Monkees . . .
Was driving itself like a hammer throughout the house.
For probably the 15th time that day.
I should probably mention that the only record-player I had access to, was my parents'.
In the front room.
Diane!”
Over the music, I vaguely made out the sound of my Mother's voice.
I looked up.
She was standing beside us.
Would you PLEASE turn that down?”
I turned the knob.
A bit.
What?”
Mom sighed. I just wanted you to turn it down.”
I looked at the record player. “I did.”
She sighed again. “Diane. You have been playing that record over and over all day. Can't you think of something else to do? Or something else to play?”
No.”
Well, I'm not going to keep coming out here to tell you to turn it down!”
Okay.”
Now what she had said, and what I had just heard, were two different things.
She had been voicing a threat.
I had understood that she wasn't going to bother us any more.
She left.
Happily, I turned up Jody's and my music once more.
I never heard my Dad's approach. Let's face it, I wouldn't have heard the approach of an entire herd of water buffalo.
Suddenly, a shadow fell over the two of us, sitting there on the floor in front of the record player.
A large shadow.
I looked up.
Just in time to see my Dad reach out, lift the needle from the record. Remove said record.
And snap it in two.
Oh, my.
He handed the pieces back to me. You mother told you,” he said.
I stared at the broken record, aghast.
But . . . but it wasn't mine,” I managed, finally.
Dad shrugged. “I guess you should have listened to your mother."
Then he left.
Jody and I stared at each other. Then quickly gathered up our remaining records and carried them to safety.
I think I bought her a new one. I don't remember.
I'll never forget the lesson.
And neither will Jody.
Following that . . . incident, whenever someone in her family looked like they might lose their temper, they would immediately be told, “Don't pull a Mark Stringam!”
Ah, lessons taught by my Dad.
And his friends, the Monkees.

17 comments:

  1. I sure do remember that one. I think it was Chris' record that got busted. How did that one song go? 'I guess I should've stayed in bed; the pillow wrapped around my head, instead of waking up to find, nightmare of a different kind.....'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was it Chris'? I couldn't remember! I just knew it wasn't mine!

      Delete
  2. My father would most definitely have pulled a Mark. Probably earlier than yours.

    ReplyDelete
  3. And your mothers calm reminder to 'turn it down' would be listened to from then on. They made a great team.
    Diane....do you have a Poetry Monday theme for us?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With Dad's presence to back her up, Mom's quiet voice suddenly took on a lot more weight. The theme is modern conveniences! I know I'm late, so if I'm too late, and you've already done something else, that's fine!

      Delete
  4. My father never did that to me but I bet he did it in his mind, especially after my 10,000th blasting replay of "MacArthur Park". (At least you had better taste.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How did our parents survive us? How did we survive?!

      Delete
  5. I'm realizing just how lucky I was to have an older brother who brought the rock and roll into the house ... my mother put up with more from him than she would from me, and therefore I was able to listen to the music without any repercussions :)

    Your dad really backed your mom up, didn't he?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to have someone else draw the fire! They were a great team. Mom would ask and ask and ask. Dad would clear his throat and instantly, Mom was obeyed.

      Delete
  6. I remember the Monkees and their crazy TV show which I watched quite a bit. I had a few of their records and a small player in my room. I don't remember ever being told to 'turn it down' so I guess I didn't have it at ear shattering level.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should have taken a page out of your book!

      Delete
  7. My daddy was the same way. Mom's word was golden. The boys tried her patience, but never me! Hahaha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now before this story, I would have said the same thing about me. Ahem . . .

      Delete
    2. This reminds me of when my youngest son was on a Little Richard kick. We were in the car. My older son could take it no more. Out the window the tape went.

      Delete

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