Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Smells Like Employment

Who would you hire?
To a cowboy looking for employment in the 50s, the Stringam spread proved enticing.
Many times, someone would ride in with everything he owned on his back and in his saddle bags.
Usually at mealtimes.
Invariably he would be invited to put up his horse and stay to eat.
The interview had begun.
During the meal, everyone seated around the table would ply the newcomer with questions:
Where are you from?
Where have you been?
Where are you going?
But the boss would be watching for answers to the unasked questions.
By the end of the meal, his decision would be made.
And the cowboy would be directed to the bunkhouse.
Or the highway.
We often wondered how Dad did it.
How could he tell what kind of a man/hand this stranger would be?
He finally let us in on his secret.
Or secrets.
By the way the man swung into the saddle and handled his horse, Dad could tell he'd had lots of experience.
The fact that he treated his horse with affection and respect told Dad he was trustworthy.
He carried very little tack, so Dad knew he wasn't a thief.
He'd worked at the Bar K/Night Ranch/Q Ranch for two years and Dad knew their standards and expectations, so the man had been well-trained.
And last, he wasn't flamboyant in his dress. No ten-gallon hat or silver, big-rowelled spurs. The man had his needs and wants under control.
He was hired.
My Dad was seldom wrong.
Although once, some . . . refining was needed.
Let me explain . . .
Luke rode into the ranch yard, looking for work.
He was invited to loosen his girthstrap and join the boys for dinner.
He complied.
Talk was general as the boys got to know him.
There seemed to be a broad consensus that Luke was okay.
Everyone looked at Dad.
Who nodded.
Luke was directed to the bunkhouse and given a bunk.
The door closed.
And that's when everyone got the first whiff of Luke's one . . . drawback.
Luke didn't like water.
More particularly, washing in it.
At first, the boys were subtle.
Opening the windows.
And then the doors.
Then they started making comments.
“Whew! It sure smells in here!”
“I think someone needs a bath!”
Which got more pointed.
“Yak! I'm choking to death!”
With looks directed at the offending party.
Luke remained stubbornly oblivious.
Finally, the rest of the boys grabbed their bedrolls and toted them to the big ranch house.
“Morning, Ma'am,” the first one said. “We're moving into your attic!”
“Yep. There's poison gas in the bunk house,” the second one said.
“We're choking to death!” said a third.
And they did.
Move in, I mean. Not die.
Mom turned to Dad, eyebrows raised.
Dad shrugged his shoulders. “I'll talk to them,” he said.
He must have.
Because that evening, the boys moved back into their bunk house.
Then roped Luke, hauled him down to the river and scrubbed him down themselves.
All was quiet for a week.
Till glances and remarks indicated that the next 'bathing' was being contemplated.
This time, Luke hauled himself to the river and scrubbed off.
From then on, all one of the boys had to do was take down his rope.
And Luke would scurry for the shower.
Oh, he complained. “Too much water is bad for the health!”
His words, not mine.
But he did it.
And the sweet, clean air of the Alberta prairies once more wafted through the bunkhouse.
Hiring is a tricky business.
But with discernment, skill . . .
And soap . . .
It can be done.


  1. I can’t imagine going through life like that, but I guess there’s always a Luke. Love these stories.

  2. Smiling. And glad that Luke learned his lesson.

  3. People like Luke are the reason there used to be a law on the books in the State of Kentucky requiring every resident of the state to take a bath at least once a year whether it was needed or not!

  4. Smiling. And glad that Luke learned his lesson.

    AS Casino
    EVO Club

  5. Welcome. BE NOT TROUBLED anymore. you’re at the right place. Nothing like having trustworthy hackers. have you lost money before or bitcoins and are looking for a hacker to get your money back? You should contact us right away. It's very affordable and we give guarantees to our clients. Our hacking services are as 
    -hack into any kind of phone
    _Increase Credit Scores
    _western union, bitcoin and money gram hacking
    _criminal records deletion_BLANK ATM/CREDIT CARDS
    _Hacking of phones(that of your spouse, boss, friends, and see whatever is being discussed behind your back)
    _Security system hacking...and so much more. Contact THEM now and get whatever you want at 
    whats app:+1(305) 330-3282  

    There are so many Reasons why people need to hire a hacker, It might be to Hack a Websites to deface information, retrieve information, edit information or give you admin access.
    • Some people might need us To Hack Their Target Smartphone so that they could get access to all activities on the phone like , text messages , call logs , Social media Apps and other information
    • Some might need to Hack a Facebook , gmail, Instagram , twitter and other social media Accounts,
    • Also Some Individuals might want to Track someone else's Location probably for investigation cases
    • Some might need Us to Hack into the Court's Database to Clear criminal records.
    • However, Some People Might Have Lost So Much Funds With BINARY OPTIONS BROKERS or BTC MINING and wish to Recover Their Funds
    • All these Are what we can get Done Asap With The Help Of Our Root Hack Tools, Special Hack Tools and Our Technical Hacking Strategies Which Surpasses All Other Hackers.

    * Credit Cards Loading {Any country}
    * BANK Account Loading {Any country}

    ★ You can also contact us for other Cyber Attacks And Hijackings, we do All ★

    * For Binary Options Recovery,feel free to contact ( a wonderful job well done,stay safe.

    Why waste your time waiting for a monthly salary. When you can make up to $3,000 in 5-7days from home,                     
    Invest $300 and earn $3,000
    Invest $500 and earn $5,000
    Invest $600 and earn $6,000
    Invest $700 and earn $7,000
    Invest $800 and earn $8,000
    Invest $900 and earn $9,000
    Invest $1000 and earn $10,000



Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

Real Estates: All Murders Included in the Price!

Real Estates: All Murders Included in the Price!
My FIRST murder mystery!

Blessed by a Curse

Blessed by a Curse
My very first Medieval Romance!

God's Tree

God's Tree
For the Children

Third in the series

Third in the series
Deborah. Fugitive of Faith

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael
A House Divided is now available at all fine bookstores and on and .ca!

Daughter of Ishmael

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

Romance still wins!

Romance still wins!
First romance in a decade!

Hosts: Your Room's Ready

Hosts: Your Room's Ready
A fun romp through the world's most haunted hotel!

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

Compass Book Ratings

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

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


A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.


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?!

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven


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

The Babysitter

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


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


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?