When Events Become Personal
Friday, 08 July 2011 23:17

Lorraine, Timmy, Scully, Fortin, Mike and Tammy - the honourary woodsmen of oh-six Lorraine, Timmy, Scully, Fortin, Mike and Tammy - the honourary woodsmen of oh-six

It's way late on Friday night, and I'm almost done F-booking, Tweeting, Reading, and am about to sit down to crunch some stats and prep some materials for the Azilda Extreme Events of Rodeo Show in support of the Volunteer Firefighters of Greater Sudbury.  Every event is of course special to me in some manner, but this one is Personal.

In 2006, the Sudbury Rodeo which was never in Sudbury, ie. Chelmsford, moved to Azilda, under the name, Sudbury Rodeo.  As we left the previous event, cast and crew of Rawhide Rodeo Company were camping between events, more so as a needed break from non-stop events.  This year, we had over 23 events and 40 performances alone in the Province.  Saturday-Sunday, Tuesday-Wednesday, run, ride, rope; it was to be a sweet time.

After sleeping in, half of our road crew were deserted.  The keener's had left hours previous.  We had about a 2 hour drive, and after Breakfast, errands and more, we arrived to an empty field, wilderness, a bunch of trailers and no one, other than a few French woodsmen.  The Keeners had left, found a lake and settled in at a Provincial Park.  We ventured into the back of the lot, cracked a 2-4 (24 case of beer), acclimated with the locals, and settled in... in the Wilderness.

That week was one of the most memorable.  The "keeners" got bored and called us to go visit.  We stopped answering their calls.  We were woodsmen.  I didn't shave.  I used the "cowboy shower": a crate of water pumped from a well, into a tree, gravity driven.

We became one with the French.  We went to the Racetrack to gamble and play the slots.  We went to Karaoke at the Algoma Tavern.  We went Bear Hunting, unguided (my weapon of choice: a Spyderco Rope Knife).

By the time the Rodeo came around, "Tabernac" and the English equivalent alternated as my form of communication.  I had a tan from sandals and shorts, and a beard.

We rocked the performance.  Afterwards, I went to my trailer to get something, and I was almost attacked by one of the locals: "Hey!  That's Scully's Trailer, get away from it!" ... my new clean-cut, polished image was opposite of the Woodsman Scully that they were accustomed to, hahaha.  'Course, I had weaned my self of the Molson Ex at that time...

Gator, Scully and Preston in Azilda Gator, Scully and Preston

Before we left after the Rodeo, they ensured that we all had breakfast that they cooked.  The "keeners" and the honourary "woodsmen" were guests, and it truly was a sad moment when I saw that treeline in my truck mirrors.

Gaetan Boulanger, "Gator" our Host is always there.  Brother Claude is always running a last minute errand and ensuring that "you're good".  All our friends and family, will be there to greet us.

Pat O'Link addresses the Massive crowd Pat O'Link speaks to the Rodeo Fans

Pat O'Link will be guiding fans around and representing the Firefighters.  When no one's looking, he'll be playing amateur photographer with his SLR.

Chantal and Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Greater Sudbury will be there, and of course my good friend Steffanie will be there.  As much as my bear hunting is a part of my Azilda Story, there will always be my BBBS 50-50 and French Awards Story.  In 2008, the group was at the Rodeo and the first day I mentioned the 50-50 a few times and spoke a lot of broken French as years' previous.  I made a joke with the clown about how I should earn a "gold star" when I hit a home run.  In efforts to have fun and earn promotion, Steffanie took it upon herself to create a Star Chart for the Sunday Performance.  Pat O'Link introduced her to me and showed me the chart...I was speechless.  The entire performance, she sat beside me and would run over and put a star on the chart for each proper French sentence and each 50-50 BBBS mention.  The chart was full at the conclusion of the performance.

Stars for good French Stars for French

The following year, I was introduced to one of the "littles" whom had been tasked to run the chart, by Steffanie.  Her mom had said how sad Steffanie was that she had to be away at Summer Camp the weekend of the Rodeo.  I told the story on Saturday of the Star Chart, and how Jacob was contracted by Steffanie.  Then...Sunday as I walked to the Announcer Stand, beaming beside the chart and awaiting to see me was Steffanie, a family member went and took her away for the day to come to the rodeo.  I too was beaming all day.

Year three for BBBS of Greater Sudbury's involvement as a tertiary charity to the Firemen's Event, after reading on "The Facebook" about my soon to be "Little", in lieu of a chart, a wardrobe of Baby Clothes were our gift from Steffanie and her mom.  At this point, I will never need a chart or a star to talk about not only their Charity, but of course the great people that dedicate themselves to that Charity.

Stephanie returns for Year 3 Steffanie and Joey meet three years later

And lastly, in 2010, the Azilda Extreme Events of Rodeo Event became the "Golden Event" that made the connection between event, technology and social media.  A Bull Rider was severely injured, and a concerned fan had posted the video to the Rawhide Rodeo Fan Page that night.  Over 30-40 posts, emails, messages and tweets poured in about the Cowboy.  I saw him the next day at another event and shot an "I'm OK" video and posted it with his thanks to the fans.  The thanks came in in another 30-40 posts, emails, messages, tweets and "likes".  That wreck was also posted from the "other side" of the stands, and after editing the two fan page videos together with the "I'm OK" video, I created both the 2010 Fan Page Wreck of the Year highlight video, and also, this was the moment that I created www.RawhideRodeo.tv

Dim lights

It may have been an $1,000-added/standard event Rodeo at one point, and now it's a one-and-done Single Night $1,000-added Bull/Bronc/Barrel ... but it still is one of the richest events in my memory chest.

Great people, great memories and great stories.  And it is my intention to once again do my part to give our Azilda Family and their Fans great Extreme Events of Rodeo.

 

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