Hold on to your horses, I’m about to give you the inside scoop of how he came to be!
“My husband Brian deployed in 2013. When he came home, one of his numerous bags was open just enough for me to see a strange object. I pulled it out. A creepy horse's head?! What in the world?! So I went and found him and said, um, what is this and why did it come home from Africa? He explained that they played a trick on one of the Marines and had put this horse head into the guys' bed, with the sheet pulled up. And the Marine walked into the room with a super weird horse in his bed. Brian thought this was hysterical. I would venture to say craziness like that is an effort for sanity in an otherwise non-normal world during deployments! You all know that too well.
So I chuckled, looked at him a little strangely, and threw the horse head in the closet. I wasn't sure what to do with it. A bunch of Marines creeping around with a horse head seemed a bit odd but I didn't feel right throwing it away either! It almost seemed like a piece of deployment history!
Ponies have also been a bit of an ongoing joke with Brian and me for many years now. My younger sister lived with us for a couple years early in our marriage 2006-2007, and we had this little stuffed Shetland pony that we would set around the house stalking her. Yes, you heard that right, we had a creepy beanie baby that would sit in the middle of the hallway and wait for Jen to open her door. We found this wildly amusing. She generally kicked it aside and just glared at us. I also threw Brian a "pony birthday" party when he was 27. We had hats and decorations and everything. My sister and I thought this was pretty hilarious! Brian's turn to glare. LOL. Perhaps we're a weird bunch. I'm okay with that!
Another tidbit that adds to this story....when people tell me they have something for me, or are sending me something, I almost always respond, "Is it a pony?!" Cause I really only want a Shetland pony. Hehehe.
Hold on...there's more...I promise I'll get to the point soon.
So one night on the Stroller Warriors Camp Lejeune chapter page, a round of "Late Night with Stroller Warriors" occurred. "Late Night" was deemed an extremely long conversation thread that erupted on the page randomly, usually at night, and generally didn't make much sense and was just hilarious. You know, when kids are in bed and Stroller Warriors are bored and trolling the chapter page to see what their friends are up to! Ha! That particular Late Night thread started off referencing whether or not Amy should approach someone in her neighborhood that had a SW sticker on her car. From there the discussion moved to complete and utter support for Stroller Warriors stalking, debates on what treat to use to bribe the prospective new friend to come to a workout, and then there was also mention of a field of horses nearby and if it'd be okay to go on the land without permission. ?! I might be remembering incorrectly but it was super random. Like I said, late night convos can be quite interesting!!!
We had the Gift of BOB coming up shortly after and we decided to arrange a surprise guest to present the shiny new BOB strollers to their excited recipients. I pulled Toni H aside at the workout, handed her a t-shirt and the Marines' creepy prankster horse head, and said, put it on and be ready to trot on stage when I call you. She looked at me like I had lost my mind but being the amazing friend and volunteer she is, she obliged. I will never forget her literally galloping up to the microphone, waving at her adoring fans, and the leadership team laughing so hard we were practically in tears. There were also a good portion of the members at the workout that didn't quite know the whole story and surely they thought, what in the world is happening. That just added to the allure of Lou. You're just never quite sure what he's all about until you meet him, see him in action, and then you get it.
I hope you love Lou as much as we all do! I miss him. Or, perhaps I miss all my friends who embody the fun that he is. Yeah...I bet that is it.”
So now you know the story of Lou and how he came to be the unofficial mascot of Stroller Warriors. If you see him around, be sure to tell him hi and give him a high five! Or as they say in Japan... a high touch!