Letter to the Dispro Hysterical Society, 1996
New information has come to light regarding the 1926 Waterford model Dispro currently owned by David Stringer of Toronto, and Tea Lake (Algonquin Park). This information was revealed to this writer at Thanksgiving dinner 1996. Present were Mabel (Stringer) Cooke, who suddenly burst forth with a flood of memories , Bill Cooke (husband to Mabel) who positively identified the Dippy in question by a water-jacket repair he had done in the 40's or 50's, and Marion (Stringer) Cherry who originally suckered David Stringer into his current state of ownership by threatening "... to burn that Damned DP if you don't come to get it this afternoon" (in 1974).
This brings us to Bessie Blecher, sister of Martin Jr.... the man who may have murdered artist Tom Thomson in 1917. Martin was reportedly sweet on Tom's girlfriend, Winnie Trainor.... who wouldn't be... she owned a Dippy. Winnie's 1922 Dippy is now in the possession of her nephew, Terence McCormick.
Bessie Blecher traded the Waterford Dippy in question to Wam Stringer (brother of Marion, Mabel, Omer, et al), in exchange for a whitewash job on the Blecher house. Anyone who knew Wam will tell you that he died in 1994 in his 90's, having never got around to whitewashing anything. Wam didn't hesitate to take possession of the boat, and promptly sold it for $30 to Hank Grenke, husband of Lila (Stringer) Grenke.
According to Mabel, when Bessie Blecher got wind of this, taking into account her un-whitewashed house, she gave Wam "six kinds of sh*t in boxcar letters". Somehow this was all resolved, possibly by Wam showing up at Bessie's place with an expensive bottle of whisky and drinking it on the premises.
We are not sure if Hank ever operated the Dispro, and we are fairly sure that Wam and Jim Stringer, who had possession after Hank's death, never used the boat. David Stringer may well be the only one in the family to have successfully operated the boat, although it was known as "Hank's boat". Hank was, after all, the only person on record who ever paid anything for it.
The fact that makes this dippy story noteworthy, is that, had Tom Thomson lived for just nine more years, he might well have been shot in the head by Martin Blecher, from David Stringer's Dippy!
It makes me shiver...
David Stringer, 1996