By Linda C Butler
(I am putting this on Facebook as Walter Johnson was a well-known prospector in the Snow Lake area in the 1960s.)
It is my tradition to give my nieces and nephews colorful socks at Christmas. This is the story behind the socks.
When we grew up at Snow Lake MB, we lived above the store and played with our toys in a small den. I was old enough to go to school, but Brian was home all day. As soon as school was over, our armies would march across the floor, or our race cars would zoom around the furniture.
Walter Johnson, a local prospector often joined us. He was a family friend who lived on a nearby island and he would come into the den, smoke his pipe, and read the newspapers. Our papers were three-days old when they arrived by mail, and by the time Walter read them, they were sadly out-of-date. We had no TV and the radio kept us up-to-date with currents events, however, these old papers gave the details. Walter would sit in a comfortable chair in his stocking feet, with legs crossed. Often he wore grey wool socks, but sometimes he wore red and green socks, often a different color on each foot. I was fascinated by his socks as we played by his feet.
I was old enough to dress myself, and one day I put on mismatched socks. My mother said: “You’ve got the wrong color socks on; you can’t go to school like that.”
I said: “Yes I can. Walter wears red and green socks and so can I.”
“Walter is color blind. He doesn’t know that his socks don’t match.”
Walter may have been color blind, but he was practical, and he would not have cared whether his socks matched or not, however, I was forced to conform. At that time, I couldn’t do anything about the situation, but now, years later, when buying socks for my nieces and nephews, I remember Walter’s Christmas-colored socks and I look for the brightest colors.
(c) 2013 Linda C Butler