Well, folks, the 2015 event in Strathmore has come and gone and it's hard to believe but it seems to have been an even bigger success than previous shows. We had great weather, great friends and a lot of great help.
Special thanks to RJ, who flew in to man the Outlaw grill. We also want to send a special shout-out to a new friend, Rosa, who helped out on the bean pot Friday night to get us through a particularly busy early dinner rush. Rosa came out to the show for the first time with our old friend, Michelle. We were happy to see them both and we were very thankful for all their help.
It was also a special show this year as our first event with 4 month old Rose Salmand and 11 month old Maxwell Van Looveren in attendance. The future looks bright for wagon racing!
Well, now we know the season is truly over. On September 27, the working crew showed up at the Rusty Spur Ranch for the end-of-season social. The fleet was winterized, the gear was inventoried and everyone sipped soda and reminisced about their favourite events of the season.
Thanks to all who helped and especially to Scott and Caroline for hosting. This year was a particularly cool event as we all got to meet the newest member of the team, young Maxwell (Colt) Vanlooveren.
Planning for next season has begun as have all the complex negotiations that are required to make a new season possible. See you next year!
Well, that is it for 2014! Another wagon season is over and the BJLC gear has been stowed in anticipation of winter. Congratulations to Evan and Adriane for a successful season and we hope to see you at the auction next spring. Thanks to all the members who showed up and worked so hard to make everything run smoothly. Special thanks to the other teams, sponsors, family, friends and assorted guests who showed up at the BJLC hospitality tents to prove once again that Black Jack rules behind the barns!
WOW! The 2014 Strathmore show is over and it can only be described as EPIC! We were slammed with guests every night from Friday to Sunday but we stepped up to the plate and made sure everyone was looked after.
Special thanks to the non-members who flew in from the east and helped make the event a raging success. RJ, from Toronto, manned the Outlaw grill with a cool look and a steady hand. Pat, from Hamilton, pitched in at the prep table to slice and dice with a laser-like precision not normally seen on the prairie.
There's barely time to take a breath before we hit the road for Rocky and our Ontario connection have had to return so we'll have to fill some big cowboy boots to pull that show off with the same panache.
Rest up, members. There's still work to be done.
Well, here we are! Ready or not, we have arrived at the eve of the show in Strathmore.
The fleet will be prepared this evening and will convoy out to the grounds with our recon crew (Beer Team 6). They will then take in the lay of the land and put together a plan for the setup. This is a crucial step because, while we want to entertain our guests, the ultimate goal is to help Evan win. As such, we have to make sure not to be in his way. Close, but not too close. Handy, but not under foot.
On Friday morning, the SWAT team (Skilled Workers with Advanced Tools) will sweep in and prepare the site for the weekend.
Hope to see you there. Wagons, ho!
The Blackjack crew were saddened to hear of the sudden passing of our friend Rick Young of Monarch Siding fame. We would like to express our condolences to his family and friends as well as the entire Monarch crew.
Many of us were on hand last night at the auction to cheer on our friends. It was great to see the Blackjack contingent show up en masse and to be able to touch base with some of our friends in the wagon racing business.
I was also pleased to see Olaf The Elder back from his "eastern swing". Congratulations to Olaf and Christina who will be presenting a new little outrider by the time the Strathmore show rolls around.
I have booked my rooms for both shows.
We will be checking in at Strathmore on Friday, August 1 and staying Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. (Checkout on Monday, the 4th.)
We will be checking in at Rocky Mountain House 2 weeks later on Friday, August 15 and staying Friday and Saturday nights. (Checkout on Sunday, the 17th)
See the Home page for booking info.
I just received a message from Rick that, in another stroke of brilliant negotiating magic, he has managed to broker a sponsorship deal with the inimitable and effusive Evan Salmond for the Strathmore and Rocky Mountain House shows. It will be great to support Evan and Adriane again as we did in his astonishing rookie year in 2012.