!Wallace Stegner was a professor of literature at Stanford and lived his early life in the dry land of the Palliser Triangle of Saskatchewan. His book Wolf Willow is a Canadian Classic. He describes going to the ice house to provide meat for the family, chopping it off the side of beef. My mother often sent me to the ice house to saw off a chunk of beef from our rock hard carcass. By then I was stronger than her and could return with a chunk but had no idea if it was steak or roast or whatever. She was okay with that. I guess I thought if it was okay for Stegner, a guy from California, it was okay for us. I thought they must know stuff ! However I avoided discussing my butchery when I started to go out with the pianist. Her father was "a dollar a year" man for the rationing board of the Federal government and responsible for implementing rationing by way of the meat charts and strict adherence to the requisite cutting and selling by meat cutters. It was his volunteer role during the war and for him meat rationing was the holy grail.I imagined the scorn he would have applied to me had he known of my butchery when I was applying for his daughter's hand. It wouldn't have helped if I told him a Californian professor of literature did it too. He may have concluded Orthopedic Surgery would be equally too demanding for me, as identifying meat cuts apparently were!
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