A Post-Stampede Postcard Leads to 40 Years of Love

The time was July, 1971 when John Ravenhorst left Chatham, Ontario to visit Calgary, Alberta. The Calgary Stampede was in action.  John was not a cowboy, farmhand or rancher but a man whose business was building houses. He decided to take a bus tour to see the city. While visiting the music concert hall during the tour, he met a lady, Linda Dickinson, who came to the stampede with her roommate from Portland, Oregon.  Linda and John began to converse during the rest of the bus tour. Neither of them had tickets to the evening performance, so decided to see what was at the fair--some rides, some animals, some tickets filled out for winning prizes, then the evening was over.  Linda met back up with her roommate and left the next morning to travel back home.

The next morning John went back to the booth of the Encyclopedia Britannica where Linda had filled out a card to win a free set of encyclopedias. Smooth talked the attendant to go through the barrel of cards to find Linda's card.

A few weeks later Linda received a post card in the mail from John.  Absolutely amazed and curious that he knew her address.  Therefore she did write back to the address he had written on the postcard. 

The rest of the story is that after letters, phone calls and a few visits across the country. Linda and John were married in July, 1972 in Sunnyvale, California. This is the town where Linda grew up and her parents still lived there.  John was born and raised in The Netherlands.

John moved Linda to Chatham, Ontario, driving across the United States in a truck with her belongings.  Ten years and three sons later they moved to Spring Hill Florida, where they still reside.

They are planning to re-visit the Calgary Stampede on the 100th anniversary of the Stampede as well as celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary on July 10, 2012.

Linda and John Ravenhorst