Wednesday 22 May 2024

Tales of my father

Dad has been gone since March 5, 1997. There were six kids, dad was the youngest, three boys and three girls. Ken was the oldest. Out of the brothers and sisters dad was closest to Ken. None of them are around anymore.

Through the years dad and Ken kept in regular contact through visits and phone calls. Dad did not call any family member near as much as Ken. At one particular time dad had called Ken far more often and decided to stop calling to see how long it would take him to notice. I remember visiting home in my early twenties when this was playing out. That night the phone rang. Dad picked it up and as Ken had one of those louder distinctive voices I knew it was him. The first thing dad said was “I see your dialling finger healed up enough that you can make phone calls again.”

We lived in British Columbia, the rest of the family lived in Alberta. We moved around a lot. When Ken left home he got some land and farmed. Ken was born to be a farmer and loved being one. Ken could be downright particular. He hired a local kid once to help out and had him rounding up round bales from the field and lining them up near the corrals. Ken did not like the way he had them placed so he had him do it all over again. 

We did not live on a farm although dad would have loved to have some land and a few quarter horses. Dad loved horses. He and Ken frequently went out on horseback for a ride.

A lot of our holidays were spent visiting relatives. One summer before I was in my teens dad and I dropped in on Ken’s property and we eventually tracked him down on a field on his tractor. We hopped on for the ride back. It is customary for whoever is hitching a ride to hop off and run ahead to open a gate and close it behind you then hop back on the tractor. We approached a gate and dad hopped off and opened up the gate. Ken did not drive through.

“What’s the problem?”

“You didn’t open the gate right.”


“You didn’t open the gate right. Close the gate and open it the right way” From what I could tell there was only one way to open the gate.

“Drive the damn tractor through.”

“I am not moving until you close the gate and open it properly.” 

This went back and forth a few more times with neither side budging. There were a few swear words involved at this point as it started to get heated.  Finally dad told him to go fornicate with himself and said he was leaving and started walking back to our truck. I hopped off the tractor and ran after him.

As we walked away Ken shouted after dad “You don’t have to go away mad.”

We left. Somehow sometime later this either got resolved or ignored and never mentioned again. 


  1. I’ve seen that before, BW… some farmers go nuts about gates…usually about how they’re closed. Often, chains are involved and must be looped and hung just right.

    Never heard of someone getting shite for opening them the wrong way though…

    1. That would have really annoyed me!

  2. Oh, those family stories . . . who knows why people are the way they are?

  3. Sounds like Ken might have had a bit of OCD but it's certainly a funny story and a great memory to have.

  4. OCD farmer, that had to be tough.