See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday story-time.

Terry and the Silver Skates...
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Betty Mae Brinker-Nelson earned scant support for her family working in an office by day, and waitressing at night. Once she had worked at a casino in Reno while she was waiting for her divorce to be finalized. But that was before Terry, sometimes known as Hans, was born.
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When Hans-Terry had grown strong and large, he had insisted on doing all the waitress work for his mom. Her husband Kenny, Terry's dad, had become so very helpless of late that he required her constant care. Although not having as much intelligence as a little child, (when he was drunk) he was yet strong of arm and very mean, and Betty Mae had sometimes great trouble in controlling him.
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"Ah! children, he was so good and steady in his youth," Mother would sometimes say about Father, "and as wise as a lawyer. Even the burger-meister from the Little Chef Cafe would stop to ask him directions to the bar with the best happy hour. But alas, now he's no damn good! He doesn't know his wife and little ones. You remember your father, don't you Hans-Terry, when he was himself--right after he was released from jail--don't you? Admit it!"
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"Oh yes, indeed, Mutar, he knew everything and could do anything under the sun--and how he would swear and beat the crap out of everyone! Why, you used to laugh and say it was enough to set the windmills a-dancing."
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"So I did. So I did, you little bastard. Bless me! how the boy remembers every little detail! Gretel-Beth, child, take that knitting needle from your father, quick; he's trying to stab your brother; and put the shoe back on him. His poor feet are like ice half the time because he spills his drink all over himself. I can't keep doing everything around here! G** d*** it! I can't take this s*** anymore, I've got all I can do--" And then, half wailing, half humming, Betty Mae would sit back down and top off her glass with bourbon; filling the low cottage with the whirr of her hair dryer.
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Nearly all the outdoor work, as well as the household labor, was performed by Hans-Terry and Gretel-Beth. At certain seasons of the year the children went out day after day to gather peat, which they would stow away in square, brick-like pieces, for fuel. At other times, when homework permitted, Hans-Terry rode the towing-horses on the canals, earning a few dollars a day, and Gretel-Beth tended geese for the neighboring animal shelter.
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Hans-Terry was clever at carving in wood, and both he and Gretel-Beth were good bartenders. Gretel couldn't sing or sew, but she could dance and loved to watch Bandstand. She could dance better than any other girl for miles around. She could learn a ballad in five minutes, but no one wanted her to sing it, and she dreaded books, and often the very sight of the figuring board in the old schoolhouse would set her eyes swimming. But she had a lot of fashion sense. Total strangers often complimented her on how immaculate she kept her tennis shoes. Hans-Terry always told her not to wear her scaf tied on her chin. He would say, "Gretel-Beth, hon, even though you think that is cool, it makes you look like a slut." She didn't like that - but Hans-Terry knew she had to be told, if only just to keep Father at bay.
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Hans-Terry, on the contrary, was slow and steady. The harder the task, whether in study or daily labor, the better he liked it. Boys who sneered at him out of school, on account of his cool shoes and scant leather breeches, were forced to yield him the post of honor in nearly every class - especially home-ec. It was not long before he was the only youngster in the school who had not stood at least ONCE in the corner of horrors, where hung a dreaded whip, and over it this motto: "Leer, leer! jouluigaart, of dit endje touw zal je leeren!" *{Learn! learn! you idler, or this rope's end shall teach you.} And because of that, Hans-Terry felt left out and so he developed some serious anti-social behaviours for awhile - but that is another story.
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Nevertheless, from his earliest youth, Hans-Terry secretly wanted to be a star hockey player and win the Stanley Cup to impress his older brother, Skip-Bert, although if that didn't work out, he had a plan "B". He always insisted he would settle for a starring role in the Ice Capades. His dream was on its way to reality after his younger brother Timlet was born - that is when Hans-Terry left home to skate and sing in the Olympics. The rest is history - although the actual documentation has been lost...
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The End
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Photo credit: When the canals freeze, the Dutch go skating. Read here why it is so unusual this year. It also eerily fits in with a very old prophecy: "When the canals in Europe freeze, a black man will lead the world." Freaky, huh?

7 comments:

  1. THIS WAS MY PHOTO for the day!!
    Oh well ,I will share it with you. I received a viewmaster reel in the mail yesteday of ,"by the Zuider zee - Holland from 1953,reel number 1900 it's so cool. That's how I was going to post. The wind mills ,and clothing are so fun to view. I loved the battlefields of Normandy reel too , but it was sad.

    Okay now I will read your above post ,and see how off the mark I am with my comments.
    :) :0 :( ;0 ;(
    Look !! I'm like "Sybil" I can't make up my mind!

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  2. Good story, Terry. Are you mimicking Michael who has a story written by his grandfather today?

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  3. Ray - not at all - I wrote this in 2007 and just reposted because of the photo. I haven't seen Michael's blog yet - I'll check it out. Is Michael Dutch?

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  4. Hans-Terry must have been spying into "Frau-Belinda's" windows to have written so well of her family life, but our crazy life had never included alcohol- or ice skating. Thank God that my Dad only beat me , and nothing more. I never thought about it before but if I had to choose one over the other I would choose a fine beating any day. Our family was always building , creating, or crafting something. Dad is a frustrated, tempermental artist. Super creative human. He was never able to overcome the kinds of abuse that he endured. He's still quite different.
    You can be crazy , and still never drink, drug or gamble.

    Anti- social behaviors? Ah, that fits me to a "t".

    My dad is the Great Santani, now don't steal that post idea too!

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  5. Ah, an encore presentation of a terry-classic. :-D

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  6. If you ain't Dutch...you ain't much!

    Love it! Ik ben blij dat je mij broeder bent, Hans!

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  7. I had to laugh at the link to the article. The Dutch do not know the story of Hans Brinker. It's not even on their radar. We never heard of the story until we moved to North America.

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