I just had a great two day visit to Alberta, where the party is growing, the talk is over contested nominations for the Green Party slot in various ridings and the Alberta Division of the federal party just voted in Ian Hopfe of Fort McMurray Athabasca, to be President. Ian is First Nations and from the "real" north of the province... (Not the "south" North, which is Edmonton.)
I was honored with not one, but two white hats! The first was presented to me by the "Green Cowboy," Richard de Smat, one of our candidates who is also a ferrier. The other came with a full swearing in ceremony as an honorary Calgarian from the tourism official "hatters." I was "white hatted" by the Deputy White Hatter and pledged to always extend Calgary hospitality everywhere I go!
Packing as I headed off for Amsterdam it briefly occurred to me to accept my friend Susan Stratton's offer that she would package the hats and mail them to me. I just couldn't leave them behind. I want to wear my white hat to Question Period so Myron Thompson can wave at me in the gallery....So I remembered the time I helped Bella Abzug pack. The venerable former US Congresswoman and indomitable feminist and I were in Nairobi... We were having dinner at Wangari Matthai's house (yes the same, founder of green belt movement and now a Nobel Prize winner) when Bella realized her ticket for "tomorrow" was for midnight plus 4 minutes that same night! It was, to put it mildly, a panic rush back to her hotel and a major miracle to get her to her flight. Famous for her big hats, I asked if there were hat boxes? "No, she said in her wonderful Brooklyn accent," you just stack them on top of the other, put them in a plastic bag and throw them in the overhead!"
White-hatted and happy, I am off for a meeting with my colleagues at the Earth Charter International Council.