That Sounds like Santa Claus!
The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede has always been regarded by our family as the years’ highlight. Therefore the experiences we remember are numerous. But I should like to tell you just one....so memorable...one which involves a much beloved stampede announcer Warren Cooper of Nanton, Alberta. “Coop”, as everyone called him was part of our family in another role. He and my husband Ken Hurlburt, as auctioneers, travelled many miles to cattle and farm sales in many parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, and elsewhere. He would bunk at our house many nights and our children grew very fond of him.
He had an uncanny ability to nickname almost everyone he met with a label so fitting to each individual. And so he did with each of our children as well as most all the cowboys....if I could only remember some of them! He had a list of children’s names, dozens of them, whom he called every Christmas Eve as Santa Claus and carried on quite lengthy conversations.
To end my story... sometime in the mid-sixties, Ken had taken the 3 oldest kids, Jody, Brant and Darcee to the rodeo. When they heard “Coop” with that booming recognizable voice coming across the infield, they stopped dead in their tracks. Their little ears heard, and their voices in unison said, “That sounds like Santa Claus!”......”That really does sound like Santa Claus.” “That IS Santa Claus!” No more Christmas Eve calls for us.
Ken at present is so honored to be an Alumni, having volunteered on the International Auctioneer Competition Committee, and Brant, a past winner of the competition, is still volunteering on that committee. It has been a pleasure the whole family shares, and we wish the Calgary Stampede a successful 100th, with many more to follow.