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.

Sharon Hagen

Enchant, Alberta