Grandpa William: Browse The Strips


Friday, December 17, 2010

Lynn's Comments: "Kafloompa- gush, kafloompa-gush" is my all time favorite sound effect. Coming up with words that suggest things like the screaming of brakes or the rumbling of thunder has been a sort of "art form" with cartoonists often claiming ownership. I was once accused of swiping Don Martin's (Mad Magazine) sound effects. I think the noises I came up with were "ka-thwanggg" or "ga-fwappp" or something like that. Perhaps these words were similar to Don's - but I hadn't stolen them! In the English language, there are only so many ways to spell the sound of a cream pie hitting the side of a head or a mouthful of cold peas being spat onto a plate. Years ago, I saw an article about Rice Crispies and how "snap, crackle and pop" was written in other languages. Some of the examples were: "knisper, knasper, knusper", "rix, rax, rox," and "piff, paff, poff" none of which I thought were as descriptive as the English. So, cartoonists will continue to come up with written sound effects as long as there are images that require them and if anyone should choose to incorporate "kafloompa-gush" into their art, I will consider it, with humility and gratitude, to be a genuine compliment.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1981-12-18
Appearing: , , ,
Location:


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lynn's Comments: Katie, more than Aaron, was fascinated by the toilet. The fact that things simply disappeared was magic. After overcoming her need to keep everything that was HERS, and agreeing to let creations of a personal nature travel on to the pipes below, she wanted to flush anything that would fit into the porcelain receptacle. Socks, toys, and toothbrushes found themselves trapped in the bowels of our bathroom, awaiting a rescue and a wash. I was partly to blame. When a small boat couldn't be retrieved and tears ensued, I told her that it had gone out to sea and was happily floating off to explore the world beyond. With this in mind, it occurred to her that other things might want to escape the confines of home as well. The sound of flushing was suddenly a reason to drop whatever was at hand and run to the nearest bathroom. The day we bought our own "worm" was the day we gave up, braced ourselves for more flushings (despite warnings, admonishments and time outs) and looked forward to the day when other things would capture her interest. Unfortunately, neither of our kids was ever fascinated by laundry.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1981-12-19
Appearing: , , , , ,
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Lynn's Comments: Yes, grandparents are a wonderful invention. I was lucky to have had the best parents-in-law one could ask for. Ruth and Tom Johnston were the models for the grandparents you see here. I used their photographs to get a likeness and their personalities were incorporated as well. I was so glad my kids had a rich and healthy connection to at least one set of grandparents. My folks lived on the other side of the country and were not able to see the children too often.

My own grandparents were either distant in miles or distant in sentiment. The only recollection I have of my paternal grandfather was “putting him out” when he fell asleep sitting up on the couch in our living room. He would smoke home rolled cigs, and the paper would be stuck to his bottom lip while the lit end smoldered and dropped hot ashes on his shirt. I remember slight plumes of smoke rising from his chest and Grandma whacking him with a dishcloth to put out the fire! My dad’s mom was a round lady with a strong domestic streak who was at home in the kitchen – but I do remember seeing photos of her in buckskins, in the snow, holding a rifle! That’s another story.

My mom’s folks were British and rather “upper crust”. Although they appreciated us, my brother and my cousins and I all had to be seen and not heard. In the strip, I had both sets of grandparents play a meaningful role – even though they lived in Winnipeg and Vancouver. In my imagination, it could all be just the way I wanted it to be!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1981-12-21
Appearing: , , , , ,
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lynn's Comments: Shopping with my kids at Christmas always reminded me of Christmases at home with my parents. Dad made $47.00 a week and if we had something left over by the end of the month, we could go into Vancouver from the north shore for dinner and a movie. For the four of us, this was a $12.00 expense and difficult to afford. Christmas therefore was sparse, and yet my parents made it as festive as any, with homemade gifts, hand sewn clothing and a turkey dinner to rival any feast in a grand hotel. It's good to have lived in a home where every dollar was hard earned and accounted for. As I walked about the shops with Aaron and Katie, I was as overwhelmed by the toys and the abundance as they were. It was hard to believe that I could afford these luxuries and difficult to keep from buying more than was necessary. Santa was indeed generous to my children...but the gifts I was given when I was their age probably meant more. They came from the heart more often than they came from the store!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1981-12-23
Appearing: , ,
Location:


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Lynn's Comments: In Lynn Lake, we had Christmas morning to ourselves and after lunch we'd walk over to Ruth and Tom's house for more openings and Christmas dinner. My in-laws always gave us practical gifts, so this strip was just for fun. Nobody gave the kids horns and drums - they were noisy enough as it was. Sitting in their living room surrounded by family and food, paper and presents is an image I'll keep with me forever. What you see in this strip is all of us the way we were at a time when life was perhaps more complicated, but far less stressful. Memories and magic is what Christmas is all about.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1981-12-25
Appearing: , , , , ,
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Friday, December 31, 2010

Lynn's Comments: When they were young like this, the kids never really got into the swing of New Year's Eve. Other than being able to dig into the dregs and leftovers from the night before, it was just another day. They would look about, wondering what was new? What was different about the first of January? For the adults, on the other hand - in a town where ANY reason to party meant a full house on a moment's notice - New Year's Eve was the night of nights. You needed no preparation, really. If you had heat, a working loo and some furniture you were golden. Food happened and beer was just a short walk away from the pharmacy. We raided each other's fridges and cooked on each other's stoves. We borrowed each other's music and made our own. We all knew each other so well, there wasn't the slow process of "getting things under way". We simply carried on from one get together to the next, bringing the gossip, gaffes and groceries with us. In the small mining town of Lynn Lake, New Year's Eve meant a great time would be had by all, and the change in the date meant we had all made it through another year - together. In a small town, family means "everyone".
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1981-12-31
Appearing: , , , ,
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lynn's Comments: Once both kids adjusted to the idea that mom and dad were really going to leave them, they settled in to Grandma's house without much fuss. Two weeks would go by fast, and maybe we'd bring a few presents when we came home! Aaron took his teddy and Katie took her bunny. Both had been lovingly made by my mom and were washed so often, they had that floppy, misshapen look of a toy well loved. Being the eldest child gave Aaron some confidence and I knew he'd accomplish something new while we were away. Ruth prided herself in setting goals for the children. "By this time, you'll be reading at this level"- or, "by this date, you'll be out of diapers". Her years as an elementary school teacher had given her endless patience - at least where the grandkids were concerned. (Her own kids told a different story!) So, while we chose the things we'd take on our holiday, Ruth found things for Katie and Aaron to do while we were away. We were so lucky. We were so privileged - and we knew it, too!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1982-01-02
Appearing: , , , ,
Location:
In Books:
Daily or Sunday:



Monday, January 3, 2011

Lynn's Comments: Our first real vacation was to Barbados. In order to get there, we had to take the Twin Otter to Thompson Manitoba, the jet from there to Winnipeg and then transfer to our flight south. For this reason alone, we were glad to be sans enfants. It would be a long trip and we were used to having our own plane and our own schedule. I did feel guilty for leaving. Aaron especially was aware that we were going away. Katie was just confused. My parents-in-law looked forward to having the kids to themselves. Ruth always had a plan and this was her opportunity to work on reading habits, table manners and bathroom toilette. Rather than begrudge the interference, I adored her for her patience and practicality. If it was up to me, I'd have left a lot of this stuff 'til they were tweens!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1982-01-04
Appearing: , , , ,
Location: ,


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lynn's Comments: The Lynn Lake airport was a small building with no separation between the ticket counter and the door to the tarmac. There was a small office and a washroom, but nothing to separate the departing from the departed from! The kids always wanted to watch the plane take off. If it was cold enough (and it usually was!) the snow would be a fine, light powder and when the props got up to speed, they blew a swirling cloud of snow up and around the loading area, which was exciting to see. I remember the kids' faces pressed against the window as we prepared for takeoff and I wanted to hug them one more time! I knew, however that they would soon be at Ruth and Tom's house, warm and safe, ready to chow down on homemade buns and hot oatmeal porridge.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1982-01-05
Appearing: , , , ,
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lynn's Comments: Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Aaron and Katie were getting used to Grandma and Grandpa's parenting style. Neither Ruth nor Tom would take any "guff" from the offspring. It was clear from the get-go that they had to toe the line, or else! As long as they kept the rules of the house, observed their manners and went to bed on time, life would be good. At least, that was the plan. Both Ruth and Tom were strict disciplinarians. Having been brought up with "spare the rod and spoil the child", they had raised their children with strong rules and regulations. They planned to do the same with the grandkids, but times were different. Things had changed. They were more mellow now and the need for austerity... was perhaps not so strong. It didn't take long for Aaron and Kate to find their weak spots; the proverbial "chinks in the armour"...and thus, their guardians soon found this arrangement to be more than they'd bargained for!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1982-01-07
Appearing: ,
Location:


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lynn's Comments: In this part of the north, the temperature often went below -40 degrees Celsius (same as -40 Fahrenheit!) With a wind chill, it was even colder. Your face would freeze within minutes and breathing was difficult. A hooded parka was a must - the fur trim essential. It was dangerous to fly on these days, as metal stress was a factor to consider and any mechanical problems were exacerbated by the cold. The fog assured us that the air had warmed enough for takeoff, but the ceiling had to be within landing specs or we'd be returned to Winnipeg. With a good landing system in Lynn Lake and pilots well on the ball, we arrived in one piece, glad to be home, anxious to see the kids and dying for Ruth's coffee and fresh baking.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1982-01-27
Appearing: , , , , ,
Location: ,


Monday, January 31, 2011

Lynn's Comments: We moved to northern Manitoba shortly after Rod graduated from University. He had degrees in broadcast technology, science and dentistry and the folks there who had known him since he was a toddler called him "Roddy". His mom would put a scarf around his neck if he was going out without one, or would tell him to put on warmer socks. He wondered aloud when they were going to consider him an adult, even though "Dr. J. R. Johnston" was on the door of his clinic, and he was married and had two kids. I found the familiarity endearing, but I was many miles away from North Vancouver, where I was still "The Ridgway girl" and Merv and Ursie's daughter.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1982-02-08
Appearing: , ,
Location:


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lynn's Comments: Now that I have adult children, I can well understand our parents' constant reference to the past. In retrospect my own children were adorable, bright, funny and respectful. Most of the time. Set well into the recesses of aging memory are the times we would gladly have drop kicked them off a bridge and rejoiced in the sound of the SPLASH below! If I work at it, I can remember being so angry that I was completely out of control. Only escape, a heart to heart with a good friend and time would stem the rage, let me see the bright side and eventually cool me down. There is much to be said for having passed through the parenting phase and into senior citizenship. I have paid my dues and am enjoying the company of two children I'm proud to see productively out on their own. I consider them my equals - even though I remind them to eat well and keep warm and I call them "Beans and A.J."
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1982-02-10
Appearing: , , , ,
Location: ,


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lynn's Comments: Goodbyes are always hard for kids. Perhaps it's because they are focused on today; they don't think so much about the future. Even tomorrow is too far away! As adults we are aware of how fast time flies and how quickly the next event will take place - often long before we're prepared for it. My father's family came from Ontario one time to visit us in North Vancouver. I remember playing with cousins I hardly knew. We were just figuring out the pecking order when they had to leave - and their departure was "forever". We cried as if we'd never see each other again - and in truth, that was just about the case! Living so far away, our relationship was then by phone and greeting card. We didn't reunite and become friends until Alan and I left home and moved back to Ontario. Saying goodbye is easier now with email and Skype, but still...there's nothing like being within hugging distance of friends and family.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1982-02-11
Appearing: , , , ,
Location: ,


About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1988-12-25
Appearing: , , , , , , , ,
Location:
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