The Students' Union President sat in his ground-floor office and gazed beyond his white Stetson onto the lush lawn of the MacEwan Students' Centre on Friday.
"I'll give you the straight facts," says Matt Stambaugh with a grin. And so it goes.
"It was a blustery day, and I, decked out in my young Burt Reynolds apparel, was enjoying another daft Stampede Parade from the vantage point of the University of Calgary float.Three-quarter mark; tragedy strikes. Tom (the driver) bellows 'she's overheated' from the cockpit and smoke piles out from down below.
"The alumni kept on walking. At this moment, I'm still on the float. All of a sudden, the alumni come back and begin to flank us on both sides. I assume the position in the rear.
"I notice something is very wrong. I unbuckle my belt, look back, and say, 'do you ladies need a hand?'
"No response. Being the chivalrous gentleman that I am, I don't stand for this abomination of mechanical failure. I hurdle myself off the moving float and begin pushing. As the force of my push increases, I find myself abandoned. But do I stop? No. Sprinting like Donovan Bailey I lurch forward and push the float onwards to glory. Thousands of spectators cheer on.
"Symbolically, this was very important to me. The students pushing the university forward, meanwhile, the University President Harvey Weingarten and Alumni President Grant MacEwan keep waiving from the float as if no treachery were afoot.
"The show must go on."
The float earned the University of Calgary third place in its category and Stambaugh proudly boasts, "I got to accept the ribbon."
"I did my part, and our brave support staff helped push our storied float onward, to history."