Last week Stratton lost one of its most dedicated community enthusiasts. Bryan Bonot could well be described as the life blood of Stratton’s reputation as a hotbed of recreation for curling and fast ball. A memorial held at one of his favourite spots, the Curling Rink was not so much a gathering to grieve but a celebration of remembering all the contributions he made as a parent, mentor, and a friend to all in the community.

It was impressive to look at the hundreds who gathered to pay homage. It was a gathering of generations who benefited from his encouragement, competition, and coaching that has sent local
teams to regional, provincial and national events as contenders from the little village that could.

Families featuring 2, 3, and 4 generations gathered around tables laughing and enjoying their shared memories involving the man with the indomitable spirit.

At one table Bald Ego was holding forth with his usual jokes and merriment.

“Hey Elliott you remember the time we bumped you into the back of the pickup and took you for a ride around the block in sub zero on the way to coffee?” he giggled as he relayed my then apparent
displeasure at such rough treatment.

In my business you write it you have to take it. So I immediately asked his now adult children sitting around the table to spill the dirt on some of Bald Ego’s escapades. Daughter Sweet Cheeks happily obliged.

“We were coming back from Winnipeg with Uncle Jack one winter day. They had been plying me with a large Tim’s coffee and in no the time we were in the absolute bush. Not a rest stop in sight. And then the urge to pee hit me. Both Dad and Uncle Jack equipped for such situations simply stepped out of the car and wrote their names in the snow banks… Leaving me squirming!” Sweet Cheeks related.

“But I’m a country girl and country girls can survive. So when they were finished I jumped out, squatted behind the car and took care of things,” she added

“Before I was finished the car dropped into gear and they took off down the road about 50 yards. I was cold and upset so trotted down to the car, but they accelerated away just as I got there. This was repeated a couple more times until they relented and stayed put and let me back in,” laughing obviously pleased with themselves their only comment being, “Young lady where did you learn such awful language?”

“Listening to you trying to get your chainsaw started after one of your famous tune-ups,” I replied and settled down to consider my revenge.

“It came the next summer when I was driving Dad on an emergency parts run over to Roseau. On the way back about five miles out of town Dad started to squirm, and ordered Quick! Back into that approach by that field! I gotta Go!!” was all he would say and glared at me when I said it was only another five miles or so to a gas station. He just glared back so I pulled off and expertly backed in the approach to the edge of the field.

Dad grabbed a bunch of those grease rags he always carries and made a dash to the back of the truck, threw the rags in the box and squatted down out of sight behind the tailgate.

“Seems the burger and fries he’d had for lunch set off a chain reaction,” related Sweet Cheeks really getting into the story.

“There was a moan from behind the truck that was reminiscence of either a bull losing the family jewels or a cow just having an oversized calf pulled,” she explained (Country Girls understand these sounds).

“Just then the farmer who was cultivating the field pulled up even with the scene and stopped. So I
dropped the truck in gear and pulled ahead just fast enough to keep Dad scrambling along behind futiley grabbing at the truck to get those wipe rags. You know he can’t run very fast hobbled with his pants around his ankles. At the highway I relented and stopped and then pulled ahead another 10 yards and gave him access to his wipes. Then he went back and apologized to the farmer who was still sitting in his tractor laughing,” Sweet Cheeks concluded.

“It was silent the rest of the way home. Dad didn’t even want to stop at McDs for another burger.

So you see Bald Ego, “Payback is Sweet” even if administered by the family.