Archive for April, 2008

An “Elmerism”

April 3, 2008

Elmer and Patti 1946 Elmer  1947 Columbia Ice Fields

I am frequently reminded of my Father, Elmer. He passed away in 1979 at the age of 67 and we still miss his unique contributions to the planet.

He was a very good father, even though he didn’t have the experience of good parenting himself. He was a good provider and was proud of his children even when we were most unworthy. He encouraged us to be our best and cheered us on, at the best and worst of times.

He had a “wicked” sense of humour and took great pleasure in egging us on to perform hilarious feats that we were seriously set on performing anyway, and destined for failure. One Sunday morning when I was about three and dressed-up, he was asked to look after me outside while Mother dressed the others for Church. As he told it many times “there was a huge mud puddle that Patti was sizing up and planning to jump over”. “after a series of false starts, and backing up as though it would make a difference, she took a running start, jumped and landed right in the middle of the puddle.” He enjoyed telling the story, and every single time we could see him reliving that moment, with his eyes sparkling. Many years later, even my Mother thought that it was funny…but that took some time! He recited poetry to us, The Cremation of Sam McKee,* and Casey at the Bat and a few risque poems that would cause Mother to yell out “E L-M E R!!!”

Just like a good movie director, he had a natural instinct for making memorable moments, and the talent to tell of them in such a way that his listeners would be rooted to the spot, hanging on every word. Mother said that she thought he could have done anything in his life if he had had the opportunity for an education. I agree.

I always liked his special prayer:

“Dear God, Please come down here and see what a mess we’ve made of this (life/world), and don’t send your Son, this is no job for a kid!”


He was sure that God had a sense of humour- “Just look at us!” he would say.

You can read more in “Elmer, the miner & the man” July 6, 2007

Elmer and Family 1948

*The Cremation of Sam McGee can be found on Poems by Robert Service website-from there, go to Youtube where Urgelt does a very good recitation video.