• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Monday, December 5, 2011


My father was born 84 years ago today.

Baby Garth with his sister Ruth

The weather, he tells me, was very cold.
There was a blizzard ravaging Southern Alberta.
His father got the car and started it to warm.
They lived on a farm just out of town.

Neil Snow Forsyth farm home

Starting a car in 1927 was no easy task. In the winter it had to have the radiator drained. There was no antifreeze.  Dad says if you put a cardboard over the radiator it would stay warm for a little while. When his father wanted to use it he had to take a teakettle and fill the radiator with hot water; then it had to be cranked. Dad says it was an old Model T. All cars had to be cranked and that it was a strenuous process - especially in the cold winters of Canada.

Ruth, Mylo, Scott, Bryce, Duane, Garth Forsyth 

He grew up in Cardston, Alberta, Canada.

About age 16 or 17

My father is a cowboy.

He worked on a Ranch when he was a young man. He would rather catch a horse than walk a block. He always had horses. He bought his first horse when he was about age 12. Then he got a job herding the town cows - yes 'town' cows ... everybody in town had a milk cow and a young boy was hired by the town to take them to pasture and herd them during the day.

Garth on Fiddle at Rothe Ranch

 My father can sleep anywhere.

taking a work break at Grand View Nursing home 
I have seen him sound asleep sitting up. I was going to claim I have seen him sound asleep standing on his feet with his eyes open but that may be an exaggeration - I suspect he was not very sound and I am sure his eyes would not have remained open.

Garth Forsyth with son Rex on right
Randy Forsyth home Raymond Alberta Canada about 1978
My father is a carpenter.

Quonsets could be built quickly and efficiently.
All of our family knew how to help build and roof a Quonset.
He does all the trades himself.
He learned by listening and watching.

Yarrow Creek Bridge 1953

He has a knack for understanding problems and developing solutions.

Yarrow Creek Bridge between Waterton and Pincher Creek

His father was a carpenter.
He went to college and gained a certificate.
Many of his brothers and sons are carpenters.

St. Mary's Pine Pound Diversion Tunnel 

They have built

about 1980

and moved many many buildings,


need a barn or quonset moved?? call Garth Forsyth
and even equipment

Oil Rigs were trucked (in large pieces) from
Del Bonita to Whiskey Gap to be shipped on the train -
at times on 2 trucks with one driving backwards
Dad says he liked to drive the back one.
of all kinds.

 One of his most memorable experiences was helping to restore the Cardston Alberta Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the mid 1990's. He tells of figuring out how to make an internal 'form' for the concrete for the fountain at the front entry (it was partly enclosed and needed a certain angle and slope inside) and of making sure the roof was properly waterproofed.

My father is a kind man - but firm.
No one is excluded from his gentleness.
He often had a wise quote or ditty to resolve problems.
He can convince you of almost anything.
He never 'pulls a punch' and he always 'calls a spade a spade'.

He does have a great sense of humour too.

will this car fit inside the bus? nope - it was too big!
My father is known as an honest man. I could walk into any store in town and give his name as payment for any item he requested me to get for him.  He taught me to not be ashamed of the things I do and if I think of doing something I might be ashamed of, to just not do it - if I am going to do it, to be proud of who and what I am and the choices I make.

My father is a humble man. During a Family Home Evening lesson (from a manual titled, 'Heaven in Our Home') he asked what could be done to make our family and home a more heavenly place. A young granddaughter said, "No more swears".  A system for the payment of a small fine was in place the next week. He didn't think he said 'swears' BUT he was the first to pay up after some chores in the barn.

He sets an example of wholesome fun and goodness, hard work, and a sincere desire for right living. When a daughter-in-law ask him to speak more kindly and pointed out that some 'teasing' may not be funny, he began to be more cognizant of and avoid things that may be funny but might hurt someone's feelings.

I learned to read, and pray, and think from my father (and my mother too of course - you can't have one without the other - that would be like trying to have a flashlight without a battery).

Happy Birthday, Dad. And thanks -
Thanks for everything!

15 November 2014, Garth Forsyth said, "That photo was taken 1950s; I drove that truck for K N Stewart. 67 feet - crown of oil rig. One short move I back under this end and Max Pitcher the base and we hauled 127 feet - one pulling and one out of gear backing up!!!"