It is a local YYC tradition to offer a hand made white cowboy hat to visiting dignitaries and officials from other places and countries. These YYC-original hats are full of western symbolism and they also given yyc-ers the under-the-breath snickering at seeing royalty, or communists or arrogant celebrities looking bowl headed in a hat that wouldn’t look good on the most seasoned ranch hand.
I was at a conference this week where the keynote speaker was white hatted by representative from Tourism YYC. I was one of the youngest people in the crowd (most 50+ folks) and I may have been the only one who really doesn’t get all misty-eyed at the notion of white hatting someone.
It was a treat though to see the ceremony unfold. The representative did a history lesson about that particular hat and what the cowboy way means to our city. They also took time to share some stereotypical poetry and verse about ranches, cows, mountains and creeks. It was a surreal experience. Anyone who actually lives here knows that the city only goes country for 10 days in July and even then there is a decided sarcastic attitude.
I was thinking… wouldn’t travelling dignitaries really just prefer a gift like this book. This would be an amazingly funny gift to find stocked into some swag bag that just screams…I’ve been to Calgary. After all, the title of this book is the #1 most heard pickup line during Stampede.