She has been doing one-woman shows of Lizzie Rummel for thirty years. The first time I saw her perform she was working for Parks Canada as an interpreter and working out of the Tunnel Mountain Campground. That night all the lights in the building went out and then a small light came on beside Shirley who was sitting beside a small table and my heart literally skipped a beat because I instantly saw Lizzie. Shirley looked so much like Lizzie in how she was dressed and how she sat that for a moment she fooled me.
Although Shirley had never met Lizzie she had read my book (Lizzie Rummel: Baroness of the Canadian Rockies) and done her research at the Whyte Museum Archives so that she even got Lizzie’s accent down very well. In her performance she tells stories from Lizzie’s life in Germany and Canada and talks about her love of the flowers. She keeps everyone spellbound.
Last year I saw Shirley do her performance of Lizzie at the Canmore library and recently I saw her do it again in the Canmore Seniors Centre. She very cleverly brings different aspects of Lizzie into each performance. No two are exactly alike. To me she makes Lizzie come alive again and I cannot help but shred many tears.
For a one woman show of a very special lady Shirley is amazing.
The photo is by John Carpenter (compliments of Gary & Shirley Truscott)