Dad’s Stories

My dad lived out his boyhood adventures on Grandpa Gray’s cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon, not far from Bend and Prineville. The stories from his childhood are a part of our family history, animportant history that shouldn’t be lost. And it won’t be lost if we take the time to slow down, ask the questions about those days and then listen to and document the stories. Dad has as much fun telling and retelling the stories as we do listening to them over and over again. And laughing at some of the goofy stuff they did.

The time period was the 1940s, and America and Oregon were very different places then. But the people today are much like the people back then; we’re just tucked into civilized carpeted cubicles until, as Tolkien says it in The Two Towers “… use and old age accept them, and all chance at great deeds has gone beyond recall or desire.” The wildness and simplicity and common sense of those times and the stories that come from them are treasures. They are for your enjoyment, and for the enjoyment and edification of generations of Leicesters as yet unborn

Big sky and cactus at Anza-Borrego State Park.

Big sky and cactus at Anza-Borrego State Park.

And yes, I know, Anza-Borrego State Park is in southern California, where I live. I don’t have any images of Eastern Oregon that I like as well as my own photograph, so we’ll just have to use our imagination and pretend that the southern California high desert looks just like the eastern Oregon high desert. If that’s not quite true, they are at least both hot, dry, full of cactus, and wild as anything.

4 responses to “Dad’s Stories

    • Kathy

      I’m calling Dad tomorrow to get the story about the guy blowing the hole in the roof of the Studebaker. I also have it on my list to spend some serious time with Uncle Ron, on the phone at least, documenting all histories of those times.

  1. Mare

    You need to ask Dad about the story about climbing into the car of of a “ner-do-well” and finding out that the car was STOLEN, after which he and . . . Jack White? Clell? Had to run from the cops and since Dad was a track star and jumped hurdles, he made it over a neighborhood fence with room to spare. Not so with his buddy . .. who made a valiant attempt, caught his foot, and when WHOMP face first onto the ground! I heard this one just a week or two ago, after getting into a discussion about being influenced into doing inappropriate things by friends. That’s as much as I can nutshell the story . . . and of course the way he told it was hilarious.

    • Kathy

      I shall absolutely do so. The only part I’ve ever heard was Dad leaping over the fence and… Tom? my godfather, catching his foot and falling down so hard he knocked himself out. The Mama should have some insight into this as well, I suspect she’s heard it a few times. Now that The Papa is feeling better we’ll have to pry these stories out of him.

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