Saturday, July 17, 2010

Folks on the Fringe of Folklorama - Being 60 (week 11 - by Margaret Ullrich)

We've just had the Folk Festival.  The Fringe Festival is in full swing and, in a couple of weeks, we'll have Folklorama.  

Just another Effin Manitoba summer.

When Paul and I first arrived here in '75 we really got into all the festivals in Manitoba.  Didn't matter if we had any genetic connection to an ethnic celebration or not.  Give us an address and we were there.  We felt it was our duty as new Manitobans to take part in any and every celebration.

Okay.  We were 25.  
Okay.  We had more energy than sense.  
Okay.  We were dumb.

We had our reasons.  We'd grown up in New York.  The Big Apple.  To our shame, whenever someone mentioned a popular tourist trap... uh, attraction... we had to admit we hadn't seen it.  Then we moved to British Columbia.  Lived there a couple of years.  Always meant to see the touristy places.  Never got around to them.  Then we left.

Well.  We weren't going to make that mistake again.  We were going to see everything.  In one year.

Our first year was a blur.  We had to see all the Folklorama pavilions.  Back then they crammed the whole world into 1 week.  Saw lots of embroidery.  All I remember was the time we were stopped by a cop.  We were on Main Street.  We weren't drunk.  I had the Folklorama passport in my hand.  Paul was driving and, as he explained to the officer, we were looking for Poland and hadn't noticed that we'd gone past an intersection.

Cops have heard it all. 

Now we're older.  We've seen - and enjoyed - most of Manitoba's attractions over the past 35 years.  We've seen the Queen.  Twice.  

We stayed home when Queen Elizabeth came to town 2 weeks ago.  While we're not as old she is, we didn't think we'd do too well standing outdoors for 10 hours in the heat wave we were having.  And there was a threat of a thunderstorm.       

Back in '75 we'd have been there.  We'd have stood in hail for 10 hours.  Without an umbrella.  

Not no more. 

Been there, done that.

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