When I was in college taking a "modern religious movements" class, I put this photo on my dormroom door for awhile. And, you just might recognize the outfit. This photo was actually taken inside the Winnipeg Shrine Temple... from the time I won the Shrine Circus Writing Contest in grade six. You can read the story I wrote here. The girl on the left of me, her name was Mary Ellen. I thought her ESPRIT shirt was cool, but her name was definitely something I was glad not to be burdened with. The girl to the right of me was named Michelle as well, and I had decided she was definitely overdressed. Mary Ellen and Michelle won the short story contest for the grades 4 and 5 sections of the contest. The guy on the left, his name was Chick. I think that was just a nickname. Or at least I hope it was just a nickname. The adults in the photo were all bigwigs in the Shriners organization.
I had just gotten a new 10-speed bike a couple of years earlier, and a ten-speed was definitely way cooler than a BMX, so the prize wasn't all that exciting to me . But I did use the Mirage for shorter bike trips. And my brother used to always ride it and slam it on the road when he was done and he totally scratched up the flourescent paint job.
I remember we had fried chicken and coleslaw at the big presentation dinner, held in the Shrine Temple basement. It was cold in there. It was in a huge old mansion-type house, and the wood panelled walls were painted with gold palm trees and camels.
All of us winners also got tickets for our family to go to the Shrine Circus later on that year, and we actually got called up to go to the centre ring, which was quite exciting. Somewhere my Mom has a photo of it, but it's one of those "my flash wasn't strong enough and I can't tell what is in the middle of the stadium". What I really wanted a photo of was me riding an elephant, but elephant rides were too expensive.
Speaking of elephant rides, I think I'll add that to my life to-do list. I've already got "visit a cult" crossed off. ;)