I never get tired of talking about the fabulous women who become involved with Wild Pink Yonder. Today I’d like to tell you about Fern.
Those of you who have ridden with us for a number of years know Fern already. In 2010, at 67 years of age, she was our oldest rider — and a Longrider at that. (She’s since been out-gunned in the age department by a few others — one woman and at least four men — but that’s only a small part of Fern’s story.) Fern rode in year one for a few days, and then returned in year two to be a Longrider.
To know Fern is to love her. She has an infectious smile and a fabulous outlook on life.
In 2011, the year after she was a Longrider, Fern decided to organize one of our stops along the trail. She keeps her horses at The Horse Palace in James River Bridge (population: two — and just down the road from Sundre), so decided that if we would stop there, she’d get the whole town involved. (*grin*) And she did! It was fantastic! We had Christmas in August! Fern was well aware of how many hamburgers we’d eaten the year before, and she vowed we’d not have hamburger on her watch. Instead, we had a turkey dinner with all the Christmas trimmings! And a Christmas tree (that got auctioned off). And Christmas presents (more auctioning). It was quite the night! Fern (along with the owner of the Horse Palace and a number of women who board there) raised over $10,000 for Wild Pink Yonder! We were blown away … and The Horse Palace got a sign proclaiming them to be “The Pinkest Little Barn in the West”.
Rusty (my son and used-to-be-partner) was so taken with Fern (and vice versa), that when he announced his engagement, Fern offered to officiate at his wedding! Rusty was delighted. Turns out Fern could not (stupid laws), but her minister friend could, so both Fern and her friend stood up and did the deed for Rusty and Raelene at Fort Edmonton Park.
And so, in 2015 we’re heading up the Cowboy Trail again. And dear, lovely, enthusiastic Fern has offered to host us at the Horse Palace at James River Bridge again! As I write this, she is already considering where our ride will be that day. She knows the area well and is scouting things out now. We may (or may not) see Christmas in August again, but I’m sure, whatever it is, it will be fantastic — just like Fern.