“What is found in the effect was already present in the cause.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein
The Original Mascot
Years ago I drew a character for the now defunct Sweep Magazine based loosely on Yosemite Sam from the Looney Tunes cartoon franchise. I didn’t pay royalties for the idea, but with $10 in hand, I was now considered a pro.
Isn’t getting paid the first step in a pro career?
It was a pleasant surprise to see Jim Henderson become a follower of my blog on Twitter. I had been scrolling through and Jim’s profile picture caught my eye. He still has the original “Sweeprrr” mascot I drew for him all those years ago.
How nostalgic is that!
The drawing was raw, but I can see where I was going with it, and after watching Clark Stanley’s execution of the Angus McStone mascot — I can confirm Jim was on to something.
Timing is key.
Jim is an entrepreneur and I was excited to be part of the magazine he was pouring energy into. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the courage, nor the skills, to sink my teeth into a project of that scope.
If we had met at the Scotties today I would have a different conversation.
The Sum Of The Parts
Today I understand the value of a great team.
Each member has their own strengths and weaknesses, and recognizing the subtleties as to how it fits all together is the art form.
The more I understand it, each team member brings a history of experience to the table, as well as their connections and influence in the community. These are the bonds that make an event work.
It requires friends to get things done.
Originally our crew consisted of Doug Geddie, Jeff Germond, and myself. Keith Shaver was a fourth and strong supporting influence as president of the Golf and Country Club.
At the tail end of the season, we launched the project with a trip to Grande Praire to meet with the 2016 Scotties host committee. The plan was well-intentioned but proved far more complicated to implement once we got our boots on the ground.
The host committee must be independently resourceful.
Experiencing the opening ceremonies provided a glimpse into the size, without discouraging me as a rookie. It was the perfect dose.
I had enough ignorance left to move forward.
The Vice Chair
As a vice chair, it’s helpful to see a working model of responsibilities, unfortunately looking at it for a brief moment is not enough time to grasp all the moving parts.
In hindsight, after discussions with Keith, it would have been a huge challenge for the General Manager to fulfill the role of vice-chair of ceremonies.
There are many pathways to success.
The demands at the club were significant and required the full attention of a General Manager and the club president. The two positions held by Jeff and Keith would have proven complicated.
When Jeff accepted a new position outside the club the team dynamics changed. It was an unexpected shock to lose a boss that I had worked closely with for over 10 years, a close ally, and a friend. The Scotties was heading toward us like a freight train.
The Scotties was heading toward us like a freight train.
I had no option except adjust.
Was it fate that Jeff got a job offer at the Mississauga Golf and Country Club? I know it must have been a bittersweet move and I don’t envy being between a rock and a hard place of opportunity.
Sometimes the brave get left behind.
That part of the story remains a big “what if” and a tender spot of regret. It was natural for Keith to shift from President into the role as vice-chair and he has done a fantastic job.
A Bold Opening
I heard a rumour that our opening ceremonies was the second highest attended in the history of the Scotties. There are three levels of customer service: the first is complaints, the second is silence, and the third is where individuals go out of their way to give kudos.
I heard nothing but the highest compliments.
The timing and execution of this part of the picture are a tribute to Keith and his directors. A bird’s eye view is necessary to see how all the gears and politically moving parts work together.
The Scottie’s project has been a shocking initiation into the world of big events.
Who knows now what life would be like if I had been more involved with Jim Henderson’s Sweep magazine during its height? I have a mild regret that I will never know.
Although writing during the week was hard with the demands of the vice-chair, being the father of twins, and addressing the resistance of a blossoming writer, the work has continued.
In my own way, I have followed in Jim’s footsteps.
The Barley Nectar blog blossomed between Grande Praire and St. Catharines, but the finest roots can be traced back to influences like Jim and Sweep Magazine.