The Steinbach Caper
I know, I know. We're gettin' a little long in the tooth to be marchin' in a Pride parade. So I figured I'd better explain how we got there in the first place. There was never any thought of it until that terrible attack in Orlando, Florida. When the Missus found out that the girls and their kids was goin' to the Steinbach Parade, it was decided (not by me) that we would go an' march too. (Well, I done that in 1995 after Ron's passin' an' had a hard time with it. I even spoke at the steps of the Legislature). Well, the Missus put on her boss pants an' said we're goin'. That wasn't a request. Fortunately, I was on side with her. Human rights abuses are as abominable to me as they are to her.
My biggest worry was vandalism of my car while it was parked out there. Turns out that Yvonne, who has her mother's organizational instincts says we should go to their place an' then all ride out in one car. Okay I say, Bob's yer uncle. Well wait, if that ain't enough, we got a semi - invalided passenger with us. So, continuin' with her organizational mind, she decides to drop the aged an' infirm (that's me an' Judy) off at City Hall steps so we don't have to walk any sort of a ways, an they'll continue on to the Jake Epp Library where the parade is to start.
So we get perched on the sidewalk in front of City Hall on our camp chairs in the heat an' brilliant sunshine watchin' folks go by, greetin' us an' sayin' good mornin' an' other pleasantries. Several times my infirm partner hobbles off into the shade to have a smoke an' cool off, leavin' me there in the sunshine to people watch for a good couple of hours.
Finally, FINALLY, the parade shows up down the block an' suddenly a sea o' people ooze onto the City Hall front yard, almost swallowin' me whole in the process. I jump up and fold up my camp chairs in absolute terror, hopin' to save myself from bein' trampled. Before I know it, all six of our women are standin' around me, takin' pictures an' yakkin'. I put my folded up chairs in Yvonne's walker when the speeches get underway. I can't see nothin' cause o' them people all around, wavin' their arms, an' I can't hear nothin' cause o' all that screamin' an' yellin' goin on every time somebody says somethin' they like. It reminded me o' them Niverville church services where the preacher finishes his sermon early an' asks the congregation if anybody has anythin' profound to add. There was always somebody an' the service goes on forever 'til nobody can hold their water no more.
I finally got claustrophobia an' headed to where the car was parked only to find Judy sittin' on a bench nearby, havin' another smoke. After another hour or so of watchin' the Mounties direct traffic away from the crowd, the women finally return an' we head for home.
Well the upshot o' all this hullabaloo was that Steinbach certainly lived up to and exceeded it's Mennonite traditions, showin' respect for the celebrants and were repaid in kind. No vandalism, no protests, no interruptions. . . . . (and unfortunately, no rollkuchen which is somethin' like Mennonite Bannock). Except for those, Steinbach showed the world how things ought to be done with respect, tolerance and dignity. At least, that's how it seems to me from up here on the tops shelf.