At The First Presbyterian Church
Fort Collins, Colorado
After Sunday School and Church we all piled back into the pea green four door Dodge. There must have been about 14 of us in the car this particular Sunday. Dad needed gas in the car. He always purchased gas on our way home, at the Boxelder Gas Station about 4 miles east of town. He skipped the trip to the Poudre Valley Creamery and told us we could have an ice cream cone at the gas station that carried the Poudre Valley dairy products and the same hand-scooped ice cream. Like all gas station of that era, it was a meeting place for gossip, the latest news or to get a jug of milk, a package of gum, a sucker or soda pop. Orange Crush was my favorite. One of my brother’s liked Grape Crush. Root Beer was Dad’s favorite.
We all got out of the car. Dad was counting how many cones he was going to pay for and he came up missing one kid – his own – Ginger! He turned a “pale shade of white” (Dad’s terminology- kinda like dark black!) He half shouted “Anyone seen Ginger?” “No..” we all replied.
He shouted to all of us “GET BACK IN THE CAR!” There was such urgency in his voice, we all rushed back to the car and quickly jumped in. Dad started the car, put it in gear and “ turned on a dime in the middle of the road and left some change” (another Dad terminology)and we roared back into town. Dad was muttering under his breathe over and over, “I musta left her – OH MY GOSH!” He stared intently at the road with his big hands gripped on the steering wheel, which caused all his passengers to stare straight ahead also. No one uttered a word. Dad barely stopped at stop signs, sometimes not at all, took short cuts and careened around corners.
We were all holding our breath as he pulled up the big church. At the very top of the stairs was Ginger, crying and sobbing. She was sitting beside Dads good friend, Reverend Grether. Dad jumped out and ran up the stairs. Ginger stood up and with all her five year old might, sobbed “Daddy! YOU left me! You-you left me!” It broke Dad’s heart! He picked her up and gave her a big hug. He told her over and over again how sorry he was. He shook Reverend Grethers hand, walked down the stairs with Ginger clinging to his neck, head on his shoulder, sobbing and sobbing.
He opened the car door and told whoever was sitting in the front seat to “scoot over!” He put Ginger in and slipped in behind the wheel. He patted her on the head and drove off with his arm around her…all the way back to the ice cream place.
Dad, the great story teller, NEVER EVER told this story! We told it for him, time and time again. “Dad, remember when you left Ginger at the Church?” He would hang his head and say “Yes, yes, I know.”
The worst part of this story was, HE had to tell Mom! Gingers place, from then on, was in the front seat next to Dad. We never, ever, complained about it, because we all knew why!!
The following is a story Dad told over and over.
A little boy was drawing a picture in Sunday School after they just finished singing “Silent Night.”
He drew Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus. Standing next to the manger was a rather large rotund man.
“Who is that?” Asked his teacher.
“Oh,” said the little boy, “That is Round John Virgin.”
The Grannie Annie series is written by a 47 year resident of Alaska, Ann Berg of Nikiski.Ann shares her collections of recipes from family and friends. She has gathered recipes for more that 50 years. Some are her own creation. Her love of recipes and food came from her Mother, a self taught wonderful cook. She hopes you enjoy the recipes and that the stories will bring a smile to your day.
Grannie Annie can be reached at anninalaska@gci. net
The “Grannie Annie” Cook
Book Series includes: “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ on the Woodstove”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ at the Homestead”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ Fish from Cold Alaskan Waters”; and “Grannie Annie’s Eat Dessert First.”
They are available at M & M Market in Nikiski.