Let me give you some background on this photo. My cousin Leslynn is more like a sister to me. We talk a couple of times a week. After lucking out locating a parking spot only a couple of blocks from our destination, we’d hiked to the grounds and started off with a tour of the legendary Calgary Stampede exhibit halls, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at some gorgeously complex quilts that had been entered in the Household Arts competition.

The midway was next (more on that later) but once the rain began to pelt down, we bolted for safety, figuring it was time to get inside. We’d elbowed our way through the hordes to snag a pulled smoked chicken sandwich on a bun with a side of excellent vinegary coleslaw. After another tour of cases filled with amateur art, homemade jams, knitted goods and home sewing, we ventured to the sales floor.  Why is it that at every consumer show around the world – whether for automobiles, boats, cottages or golf – there are folks with grating voices standing under retina-burning lights  hawking mops, orthotics and ‘miracle’ window cleaning products? Is their presence based on the ‘sucker born every minute’ school of merchandising?

hairgirlThis young creature and her companion pushed ahead of us on the escalator as we were on our way to the fifth level of the stadium to our seats for the Stampede Grandstand show. Instead of being annoyed, I gave an imaginary fist-pump and pulled out first my smart phone and then my little Canon camera. I had to capture the wonderfulness before me so that I could write about it.

We all know that the Stampede is the greatest western show on earth. Enough white hats, cowboy boots, denim (including some breathtakingly short shorts) and plaid (with lots of sparkles) to make your eyes bleed.

Missy looked to be Asian. She’d obviously tried hard to get into the theme, except that her boots where patent leather and the fake spurs were embellished with rhinestones. She had on one of those string-decorated skimpy cris-crossed tops with rows of glittery metal studs. The hat…well, I’ve never seen another one like it. The highlights were the knee-length fall of hair (which looked real) and the replica Burberry handbag that weighed on her arm like it was full of horseshoes. And maybe a small cowboy.

On the other hand, her companion was dressed like a Hong Kong golfer – chinos, logo shirt, dress shoes. They didn’t speak or even look at each other.

Cousin and I got caught up in the buzz of the impending chuckwagon races and lost sight of them. What a memorable sight that was. Another one of the many joys of travel.