My cousin, Elmer Johnson told me about his dad’s mischievous past a few years ago, and while he told me of a few stories, my imagination can run wild on the other things the boys must have tried too. Anytime you get three brothers, or in this case, the two oldest brothers, you have a recipe for…mischief. I don’t have brothers, but I do have four sisters, and I can tell you that we could think of some crazy stuff too. Well, not a crazy as my Uncle Elmar and his brother, Les. Those guys lived out in the country, and they had a lot of time on their hands…when their chores were done, anyway. I think that few things could compare to the time their dad went into the outhouse (common back then). That was when Uncle Elmer and his brother Les got an idea. Uncle Elmer drove the tractor right up by the outhouse. His brother Les hit the outhouse with a 2×4 as Uncle Elmer revved up the engine. Their dad came running out of the outhouse with his pants down around his ankles and the Montgomery Ward’s catalog in his hand. Their dad wasn’t very happy with them, but he was relieved that the outhouse made it through whole ordeal in good shape…and that he did too!! Every time I think about that story, I can’t help but laugh.

Kids do crazy things, and they have no fear of reprisal…except that of their parents, obviously. So, the trick is to know how far you can go with your parents. Make sure they have a good sense of humor, and don’t mind admitting that they’ve been had. I have a feeling that their dad had pulled a few of the same, or similar pranks on his parents that Uncle Elmer and Les, and later Tom pulled on theirs. These days, kids play video games and watch television, but in those days, kids had to create their own games and adventures. Kids who lived on farms knew how to drive tractors, and probably pickup trucks, at an early age…way before city kids. Some, like my dad and his brother even knew how to use dynamite. And they got creative in their pranks, to say the least. It might seem strange to us, but I’ll bet those guys had the time of their lives.

Uncle Elmer was also an amazing cook. My cousin, Ellen Bremner, his oldest child told me about holiday meals at their house. Holidays were one of the times the kids cherished the most. Their dad, my Uncle Elmer, making a wonderful holiday meal from scratch, with everyone in the family standing there watching and smelling that wonderful meal…their mouths watering and stomachs growling. Dinner couldn’t come soon enough. Uncle Elmer liked to experiment with his cooking, something that their mom, my Aunt Dee, really didn’t do. It’s hard for me to imagine Uncle Elmer as a chef, but I think I wish I could have tasted that food. Today would have been Uncle Elmer’s 91st birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Uncle Elmer. We love and miss you very much.

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