Life has got a habit of not standing hitched. You got to ride it like you find it. You got to change with it. If a day goes by that don't change some of your old notions for new ones, that is just about like trying to milk a dead cow. Woody GuthrieWe weren't plannin' on milkin' no cows, dead or alive, yesterday, but we sure were out to shake up the headware of Stampede revellers with the crazy and wild concoctions we had ready for the auction block.
But the weather had other ideas in mind!
Day broke and the rain fell. At 9am it was still falling. At ten, it came down in sheets.
This is Calgary, someone said. Wait five minutes.
And we waited. We didn't want to move the Tip Your Hat Auction indoors. Our audience would mostly come from passers-by on the mall during the noon hour. We needed the traffic to make the auction work.
At 10:30 we huddled beneath sullen skies dripping with rain. At 11:45 we debated if we should call media and let them know -- it would be an indoor affair.
At 11:50 we looked up and saw a tiny sliver of lightness amidst the grey cloud. At 11:55 we made our decision and cast our fates to the wind.
We were goin' outside, on the mall, amidst the hustle and bustle of noon hour office workers out for fresh air and tourists wandering the streets looking for Stampede activity.
What a grand time was had by all.
The clouds parted. The rain stopped and the festivities began.
At High Noon sharp, Abe Brown, our MC and auctioneer, took up the mic and began to call out to passers-by to come on over and take a look at the extravagance of the hats on display. Mayor Nenshi arrived to model the first hat and wowed his audience with his poses and his sense of fun. And when he was finished modelling "Voices from Within", a cowboy hat entirely covered in photos of people who live and work and volunteer at the homeless shelter where I work, he shared a story about the hat his sister bought last year at the auction.
We've got two hats in the family, he said. He'd bought one the first year and then his sister bought mine -- titled, Cowdi-gras -- last year.
And then he told the crowd about an event he and his sister were at during Prince William's visit this year. "I dared her to wear her hat," he said -- it is quite outrageous and colourful and sparkly -- and she did and the Duchess of Cambridge, (Kate) loved it and the Mayor's sister got to chat with her all because of a hat designed by Louise, he told the crowd!
Yippee! I thought - surprising myself -- I've got a Royal connection!
All in all, it was a fun filled zany hour on the mall in almost sunshine -- and definitely no rain.
And when the laughter, good times and fancy hats were all auctioned off, the This is My City Art Society was richer by $2,814 that will all be used to support art initiatives within the homeless community.
Well done pardners!
To read a review of the affair in the Calgary Herald go HERE.