After a little while, the man came over to peer through the small porthole windows, in the swinging doors, to see what the beginner ballerinas were doing on stage. (Parents are not allowed in the theatre as the children may be distracted by their presence). The tall, grey-haired man stood quietly next to me.
I hesitated to say anything. Finally, I asked timidly, "Are you Gordon Tootoosis?" He said he was.
Then he asked me a question -- and it wasn't if I was the famous Neilburg newspaper reporter or the blogger for Porter's Primary School! He asked me, "What part of the outfit is the tutu?"
Apparently, Mr. Tootoosis was left in charge of his Kindergarten-aged granddaughter and he didn't know what he was looking for when he was told what she needed for ballet class! I explained it was the skirt and we had a laugh together. He said he'd called his wife, at work, and all the fellow employees in her office, were amused that he was searching high and low for a tutu! Soon the class finished, we collected our respective girls, and went our separate ways.
When I got home I excitedly phoned my parents to tell them who I'd bumped in to. They didn't seem at all impressed. In fact, my Father didn't even know who Gordon Tootoosis was. So I called my husband, John, on the mike phone as he was working, hauling oil across Alberta. He wasn't sharing my enthusiasm either... Surely I am not the only one who remembers "Albert Golo" from "North of 60" fame??!
For others who may be unsure of who Mr. Tootoosis is, here is a biographical write-up from Wikipedia:
"Gordon Tootoosis (born 25 October 1941) is a Canadian actor of Cree and Stoney descent. He is a descendant of Yellow Mud Blanket, brother of the famous Cree leader Pitikwahanapiwiyin.
Tootoosis's first acting role was in the film Alien Thunder (1973), with Chief Dan George and Donald Sutherland. He is best known to British audiences for playing the Native American Joe Saugus, who negotiates the purchase of the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet series 3 (2002). Gordon appeared in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation mini-series By Way of the Stars with Eric Schweig as Black Thunder and Tantoo Cardinal as Franoise. It was filmed in Uxbridge, Ontario. Tootoosis starred with Russell Means in Disney's Pocahontas (1995) and Song of Hiawatha (1997).
He is the son of John Tootoosis, one of the founders of the National Indian Brotherhood and former head of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN). Gordon himself served as the chief of his band and as a vice-president of FSIN. Tootoosis has been married to Irene Seseequasis since 1965. They have three daughters and two adopted sons. After their daughter Glynnis died of cancer in 1997, they took the responsibility of raising her four children. Their residence is in Saskatoon."