Dateline: August 17th — Wanham AB

Whoa, Nellie!  I think I may have just been in the Pinkest Little Town in the West 2013!

We started our ride through the Rycroft-Wanham backcountry.  It was more than splendid.  It was quiet and beautiful, and once we got off the new gravel, it was easy on the horses’ feet.  Lots of trees along the lane for shade … and the sun was shining.  It was another beautiful day in paradise.

When we got to the edge of Wanham, we were met by the fire brigade and their trucks.  They escorted us across the highway and the parade was on.  It seems that Wanham has not had a parade in the last 35 years!  As we came down the hill and into town there were long-time residents standing there cheering with tears rolling down their faces!  Many Wanham residents got into the act and our parade became quite long with the addition of bicycles, walkers and assorted other things joining us.  So around the town we went throwing candy to the kiddies who, once they caught on, were delighted with this practice.  *grin*  I was surprised to see that most of them were Hutterite children, but later learned that there are *two* Hutterite colonies right near Wanham, so I guess that’s not so strange.

So off to camp we went to get cleaned up and ready for the evening’s festivities.  I have to tell you, it was grand!  Dinner was T-bone steak with all the trimmings … and I mean *all* the trimmings!  After dinner we had speeches and all sorts of kibbitzing.  People were bidding on a (fairly ugly) pink pig.  I think the thing finally sold for about $1,500!  Heads got shaved.  Folks reminisced about family and friends lost to this dreadful disease, and as the evening went on, first there was a really good band.  I think there were *ten* musicians — everything from drummers to guitarists to a violinist and a banjo picker!  

Once the sun went down, the musicians took a break and everybody walked down the street to the local park.  There they had the most emotional event we’ve seen yet.  Bags were placed on the grass in such a way that they spelled out the word “hope”.  In each bag there was an unlit tealight candle.  Everyone was invited to light a candle and tell the others who it was for and why.  There were a *lot* of candles and a lot of tears.  At the end  the crowd sang Amazing Grace.  Some sang in harmony.  Some sang off-key … but they all sang together.  It was amazing.

Then it was back to the hall and the band played on.  The dance floor was packed.  The crowd had a blast.

In the morning it was decided that Wanham would have an annual women’s event, save the money from it and use it for seed money when Wild Pink Yonder returns … in five years’ time.

We’ll be seeing you, Wanham — sooner or later!  (That’s a promise.)


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