A Calgary man takes the tradition of dressing up in western attire during the Stampede to a whole new level this week.
Tim Sailer buckles his belts in a very big way, creating three massive belt buckles from silver memorial serving trays.
“That tray belonged to my wife’s parents,” Sailer said. “They got it as a wedding present.”
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Sailer customized the tray to act as a loop by attaching several western-themed objects to its surface.
“A life-size horseshoe, a sheriff’s badge, an obsidian arrowhead,” Sailer said.
Sailer also fashioned two bows from silver trays given to her parents on their 25th wedding anniversary, one of the trays being particularly large.
“I had to put a leather strap on it because it would take your pants off right away — it’s 9 1/2 pounds,” Sailer said. “I wore it like a loop, but your neck hurts pretty quick.”
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On Wednesday, Sailer was showing off her platters to guests outside the Clarion Hotel in northeast Calgary.
“It’s so ingenious to commemorate your family like this,” said Bobby Okanee, who was from Saskatchewan. “Enjoy it, instead of gathering dust on the shelf.”
Sailer does landscaping work at the hotel, a place where he spent years as a waiter.
“I used to work in the restaurant wearing this (silver tray buckle),” Sailer said. “It’s not easy to work eight hours with that, believe me.”
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Hotel guest Gerald Okanee called Sailer’s work “cowboy bling”.
And Alberto Dalla Riva, an Italian traveler, was happy to have had the chance to discover Sailer’s big curls.
“I came from Europe to feel the Stampede vibe,” said Dalla Riva. “And I didn’t expect to find this – I’m very impressed.”
Sailer says he still likes to wear his custom curls in Calgary.
“I think it helps promote the spirit of the Stampede,” he said.
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