Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rocky & Taz

We finally left Murray & Jill’s this afternoon.  They are just too good of hosts – it’s hard to leave.  Last weekend when we arrived they had another new arrival.  Their dog is getting on in years and they have decided to get a replacement dog while the old one (Rocky) is still around to train the pup.

Rocky has several cats to play with so I expect he thinks this new arrival is just some kind of clumsy cat.  Last weekend Taz had trouble navigating the steps and he wasn’t getting far away from his doghouse but over the course of the week his legs got a lot steadier.  He still likes the safety of his doghouse and his secret place under the deck but now he wanders farther afield and occasionally tries to catch Rocky’s tail or chew on whatever part of Rocky happens to be close by.

Yesterday afternoon I got to participate in another mini-rodeo.  Murray and Clayton were tagging calves and cows and de-nutting where necessary.  Mostly I just tried to stay out of the way but they were kind enough to pretend that I was useful and then afterwards we got to the best part – the rye.

This afternoon we made a leisurely journey down #11 Highway from Saskatoon to Regina and I made a leisurely trip down memory lane.  As we passed Hanley I remembered the time we stopped there on the way back from the farm at Kenaston to Shellbrook.  I expect it was the spring of 1967, probably after Easter so maybe not that far off exactly 43 years ago.  Father had a 1964 Mercury with the goofy “breezeway” back window that sloped in rather than out.  Lew Duddridge owned the Ford dealership in Hanley and he had a 1966 Montclair demonstrator on his lot.  When we got back to Shellbrook I remember father talking about that car and a few weeks later he headed off to Hanley with the “old” car.  A three year old car now is no big deal but in the 60’s a 3 year old car was getting long in the tooth and father put a lot of miles on his cars.

When he got back to Shellbrook he was driving the new Montclair but I guess the deal almost didn’t happen.  I’m not sure about the numbers now but $3200 and $3500 stick in my mind or maybe $3500 and $3900.  Whatever the exact numbers were I’m reasonably certain that they were under $4000.  Father thought that Duddridge had agreed to the lower number but when push came to shove apparently he hadn’t.  Father said afterwards that he wasn’t negotiating – he just couldn’t afford the extra $300 so he got up to leave.  He said it was the only deal in his life where he had been successful in negotiating that much of a discount.  Looking back a $300 discount doesn’t seem like much of a deal but I guess it was close to 10% off so in that light it was pretty significant.

That Montclair was a lot of car.  It didn’t have air conditioning or power windows but there wasn’t much else available at that time that it didn’t have.  It was certainly a big step up from the 1964 Merc and father drove it until he bought the appropriately coloured lemon yellow Torino in the fall of 1971.  I can’t remember exactly when he got rid of the Montclair but it would have been over 10 years old when he traded it on a Grenada.

We’re settled in again at Comfort Plus campground east of White City.  Karen welcomed us like long lost friends and assured us that their ground was solid enough for us to park back in the trees where we are out of the wind.  I was more than a little nervous because we had checked down the road at Dyer Straits and they still think that their yard is too soft for us.  We parked with landing pads under each wheel and now 6 hours later we still haven’t sunk out of sight so I’m thinking we may be OK.  I buried this thing in the yard in Nipawin several years ago and it took a 2-1/2 yard loader to drag it back onto high ground so I really don’t want to do that again.  We weigh about 36,000 pounds which is 8 to 12 thousand pounds more than a comparably sized motorhome so we need to be careful where we try to go.

We ran into Regina as soon as we got set up so we could have a visit with father but he wasn’t very much with it tonight.  Maybe he was having an off day or maybe he wasn’t fully awake but whatever the cause there wasn’t a whole lot going on. 

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