My Dad Would Have Loved to be There
My dad was a farmer, one of the old breed of farmers where being a farmer is what you did 24/7. He loved everything about farming and never took any holidays that I can remember other than the Calgary Stampede.
This was in the late 50’s and early 60’s. As a little girl in a family of five brothers I was honored that I got to go with him to the Stampede. The boys had to stay home. I can remember going to Calgary and staying at my Aunt and Uncle’s home. In my mind I can still picture the parade and the pancake breakfast. Everything was so big and grand to a six year old girl from a little community called Circle Hill close to Vauxhall in Southern Alberta.
My Dad didn’t go very often after that because it was too busy a season as the farm got bigger and he bought a ranch to boot. He still watched the Stampede religiously from his arm chair. Unfortunately he passed away in 1972 at the age of 53.
Since then I have returned to the Stampede as an adult on a couple occasions. The most memorable was in July of 2000 on the final day, when my now son-in-law Marty Broderson won bull riding. I can remember the excitement and hope for a good ride and the prediction of failure when a pigeon crapped on my head just before his final ride. I thought “Oh my God if that isn’t a sign that $#!& happens.”
Thankfully that was not the case and I can still feel the emotions as we watched him hoist the trophy and receive his $50,000. It was so great to see a small town kid from Vauxhall, Alberta make it big. The thought that ran threw my head was how my Dad would have loved to have been there.