Hang on to your wives and sweethearts

My Dad and Mom have a considerable number of very fond memories of the Stampede:

My Dad remembers Josh Henthorn as the Rodeo and Grandstand announcer.  He finished every performance with the line (as close as my Dad could remember) "Hang on to your wives and sweethearts; there's a lot of good looking cowboys on the loose.  Watch your step coming down and don't be climbing over the seats."  He would wait a few minutes then tell his joke.  "If there is a Lady out there who’s lost a purse, Helen Hunt found it.  So anybody who’s lost that purse can go to Helen Hunt for it."  Of course, it had to be told in a British accent!

In their youth my Dad and his neighbor Stu Gell would get into the rodeo for free by going to Ernie Gell’s office.  Ernie was Stu’s Dad and was the Electrician for the Calgary Stampede.  Ernie had an office under the Grandstand and the boys would wait until the rodeo started then sneak to the fence to watch.

My Dad loved going to Family Day!  It was a day where his family, his cousin Harry Tims and his neighbour Stu Gell would take a picnic basket to the performance.  After it was over, they would have their picnic on the River.  He recalled being disappointed never winning a real pony. His cousin Harry did win a bike one year but they all wanted a real pony instead.

To this day, my parents wear authentic apparel for 10 days!  Dad entered his wood carvings in competition; Mom was a parade judge with Phyl Gell (Stu's wife) and Tom Ward. 

Dad and Mom took us to every Stampede and the first day was always spent in the Agriculture Barns looking at the stock. Dad was disappointed when the auction and sale of stock was no longer associated with the event.  He loves 'the ranch life' and took us to the family Homestead near Big Stone AB.  Of course, we attended the rodeo there as well!

Respectfully submitted by Patti Davidson for Norm Walsh.

The gentleman on the horse is my dad, Norm Walsh and the parade picture is of my brother, sister and I at the parade outside my aunt's house on 7th Ave.