A Life Changing Photo

For 24 of my 25 years at the Calgary Stampede, I have worked in Stampede Headquarters - occupying several offices and walking miles and miles of hallway carpet. Over those years the pictures and posters on the walls have blended together and sometimes gone unnoticed. I've seen them without really looking at them. A dozen years ago, one particular photo in a hallway outside my office took on special meaning for me. 

On a brutally cold winter's day in 2000, I asked my aging father what had made him come to Alberta, as opposed to some place warmer like California! Why had he come to such a cold country? He recounted that as a young boy in Denmark, he saw the front page of a Copenhagen newspaper in 1924 or 1925 - he couldn't remember for certain.  The photo was that of wagon teamster driving several teams of horses pulling 10 wagons of grain in the Stampede Parade. He said at that moment he committed himself to living in a country that had such prosperity that one man could have so many horses and so much grain. His life was changed by a single photo. From that day forward he began his quest to come to Canada and realized his dream in 1929.

The following Monday I went to work and paused in the hallway to pay more attention to a photo on the wall that said '"Slim" Moorehouse driving 36 horses with 10 wagons of grain.  Calgary Stampede, 1925.'

The photo that changed my father's life had been on the wall in front of my office all those years.  I had no idea how that photo had been so instrumental in my own destiny.

Paul Rosenberg, VP Programming, Calgary Stampede