Stephan Garry Wayne Stephanson
The above photo was taken several years ago. In addition to Judy and me, on the right are son Leif and daughter-in-law Wendy, and on left, son Dan and daughter-in-law Cyndy. In front hugging Afi are their children and our grandchildren, Julianna 12 and Ethan 10.
I retired from the military as a Major (Mech Eng) in 1993. Judy retired from teaching Special Education in 2000. Dan and Leif are both Engineers, Electrical and Mechanical respectively. Our two daughters-in-law Cyndy and Wendy work for the National and City governments here in Ottawa. So, we are fortunate to have the whole family together in one city although, strangely, we all live in the far corners (Orleans, Kanata and Barrhaven).
As can be seen, the following collage originated about eight years ago, nevertheless I thought I'd include it as it's so interesting!
To learn more about The Stephansons just click here to get to our web site.
The following are my contributions. I can't guarantee that I have the proper names, but I'm sure some of my cousins will correct me as necessary! And just maybe some of my vignettes are slightly exaggerated ... but that's the problem with seniors' memories!
My Mom in front of 717
Sister Susan - Flower Girl
Garry & Susan
Art, Susan and Garry
Garry, Susan, Mom & Dad
Mom & Dad Wedding Photo
Uncle Alfred and ...
Uncle Brian and ...
Judy and I sent Uncle Brian's family a compilation of vignettes on his passing.
To read our comments, just click here.
Auntie Eleanore and Auntie Mary
Me c/w attitude!
I did have several rather interesting pets - one was a chicken. Yes, that's right, a chicken! It all started one Sunday afternoon when I was about seven or eight. I happened to be looking out our living room window and spotted a farm truck loaded with poultry parked across the street. Live chickens were in crates and one of the crates was broken. A large orange and white chicken had made a successful attempt at escape and was scrambling across the street dodging the traffic in a rather uncoordinated fashion. I ran downstairs, passing Grandma Johnson who asked where I was heading with such haste. I threw a reply over my shoulder which, as I found out later, my dear Grandmother interpreted as "I am chasing a Chinese Canadian." (Chink rather than chicken - political correctness was unknown at this early period of ethnic diversity in the new colony). In any case, I caught up with the chicken in our back yard. By the time I returned to the street, the truck was gone and by accident, I was now the proud owner of a prime piece of poultry! An old wooden box became "Daisy's" new home. She became tame enough for me to pet and would actually settle on my chest as I stretched out on the grass in the warm summer sun. She even laid several eggs and I was very proud of her tasty contributions to the family table. Unfortunately (from my standpoint), Dad said we couldn't keep Daisy, but he had a friend at work who would take good care of her. I reluctantly agreed, and one Saturday afternoon, Daisy and Dad headed off down the road in his old Chevy. On Sunday, Mom made a really special dinner - roast chicken of course. I was so naive I didn't even suspect a thing! In retrospect, I guess Daisy was the tastiest pet I ever had.
Perhaps my folks felt a little guilty about Daisy's demise. In any case, the next Christmas I received a real pet, a dog! On Christmas morning, just as I was opening a present, my parents called to me in a tone I hadn't heard before. When I turned around, there was the cutest, fattest puppy I'd ever seen trundling towards me with a large bow around its neck. Attached to the bow was a card stating, "Garry, my name is Pal." No doubt the name came from my earlier love of the setter next door shown in the following photo with me, Mom and Cousin Art.
I now appreciate that as we lived on the third floor of my grandmother's house, this decision to get me a dog must have resulted only after a considerable amount of soul-searching (and heated discussion) on my parents part. My first crack at being a dog owner was pretty much a failure. After all my promises regarding care and training, my good intentions lasted about a month. It was NOT easy to try and "potty" train a dog when you have to go down three flights and then thrust (or drag) the animal outside in mid-winter Winnipeg. The result was continuing "accidents" so the carpets and stairs took on an odour reminiscent of a kennel! Grandma Johnson was certainly not impressed and made several non-veiled suggestions that Pal should receive the same fate as Daisy, excluding the ritual meal.
As Pal matured, he developed several traits which did not endear him to the other residents. For whatever primordial reason, he loved to go out and roll in the horse manure deposited by the various delivery vehicles (Yes in my time, horses still had their place for hauling the milk, ice, and bread wagons). Of course this did not enhance his image, nor did running away when called (somewhat unclear of the concept). He also loved to get on the bus, much to the chagrin of the bus driver and the poor family member making the journey. Although in time I began to appreciate that even in dog terms he was one card short of a deck, I still loved him.
But one of his most ardent supporters, my mother, was rapidly losing her patience. At Easter, she had spent hours baking and decorating special cookies for the occasion. They were all laid out on the kitchen table when she left the room for only an instant. On return, she was horrified to see Pal up on the table cramming the cookies down his throat as rapidly as he could, row by row. She screamed, and Dad rushed in, evaluated the situation, and then proceeded to swing Pal around his head by the tail, finally releasing him like a giant slingshot! I found this a little unnerving and so did Pal. He bounced off the wall and did not land like a cat on his four feet, but rather slid on his back across the floor, through the doorway and down the stairs. Pal was not hurt but unfortunately did not seem to learn anything from his first flight.
Pals crowning glory was his on-going dispute with an army sergeant who was renting rooms in the house next door. This twit did not have an IQ much higher than Pals so in many ways they suited each other, except Pal was the size of a terrier and the sergeant had the stature of a redwood! He claimed that Pal had constantly barked and threatened him. I find this hard to believe as Pal was normally so good natured and friendly to all - definitely not a watchdog! He also said the dog tried to bite him and, perhaps so as Pal was sporting a wound over one eye. The question of course is who did what to whom first! Well, my folks were hauled into court with the charge being "Letting a dog run at large", a hardly disputable accusation as Pal did have the run of the neighbourhood. Mom however felt that the soldier was morally at fault due to his obnoxious personality and the immense size disparity. She announced she would rather go to jail, than pay the fine at which time my dad evidently just about passed out! Cooler heads prevailed and they paid the fine. The court episode got a big write up in the paper and my dad was dogged by barking co-workers for several weeks. For Pal, it meant shipping him to the farm, much to my chagrin. I visited him that summer, and the reunion was right out of the boy and his dog books! Unfortunately, later that fall Pal took on a hay-mowing machine and came out the loser. My mom advised me of his demise while we were shopping down town. The choice of location for this tete-à-tete was excellent with crowds all around us at a street light as it ensured I would control my emotions to avoid embarrassment to the both of us. This was the first time I had to do this, and I did a reasonable job of it. I think my mom was more visibly emotional than I was.
Me and Cuz Ron
The Georges, and sisters, and ...
Eleanore, Florence, Irene and Brian
Mom, Tree, and Maria
Rae, Flo, Bev ... ?
Cuzes Art and Garry (plus fish) at Ingolf
Uncle Art, Cuzes Art and Garry
Johnson Sibs ... perhaps
Ron, Art, Garry
Garry Rides again!!!!
Garry as Captain of the Pinafore
The Johnson Sibs probably at a City Park picnic in the early '80s
Florence's 89th Birthday Celebration
Brian, Florence, Irene
Florence's 90th Birthday Celebration
Garry gives a little speech on Florence's 90th
Garry and Mom