Steamboat Springs Cookie Lockhart has been practicing her wave.
One style she fancies alternates between large, swooping waves and tight, elegant waves, all while smiling with a raised chin. With a laugh, she said it's called the "queen's wave."
The practice must have been worth it, judging by the hollers, hugs and handshakes she got during and after Sunday's Fourth of July parade.
Lockhart led the parade as grand marshall, wearing red leather, gauntlet-style gloves trimmed in fringe; red ostrich boots and spurs; and a red, white and blue jacket. She had a white cowboy hat and wore glasses circled in a thick line of rhinestones.
Lockhart, a longtime Steamboat Springs resident and well-known auctioneer -- the only woman to be inducted into the Auctioneers Hall of Fame, an honor she received in 2002 -- said after the parade that all the waving and smiling didn't tire her out. As soon as she reached the finish, she ran off with friends to watch the rest.
"I was just waving away," Lockhart said. "It was marvelous. Everybody was waving and calling, 'Cookie.'"
Lockhart grew up in Steamboat Springs and calls it home even now, although she travels frequently for auctions and had to move to a lower elevation for health reasons.
She still spends much of her time at auctions, where she rattles off climbing prices for just about anything anyone wants to sell. She keeps her auctioneering ties close in Steamboat through an auction service she operates here with her daughter, Jo Lockhart.
Last week before the parade, she recounted some of her memories of other Fourth of July parades in Steamboat Springs, describing some of the horses she rode and buggies she drove.
"I rode in every parade," she said.
Lockhart followed her father's lead to be an auctioneer, and was the only woman in a class of 126 students.
She's received various auctioneering honors, such as judging the 2001 International Auctioneer Championships.
Being the grand marshall for this year's Fourth of July parade was a special honor, she said. Grandchildren, now grown, flew from New Jersey and California to watch the parade.
"This is Independence Day ... And here I am, in my hometown, Queen Bee," Lockhart said last week. " I don't know how you could have a bigger honor."
Her hair is growing back from her recent battle with cancer -- "curly and platinum," a style that Lockhart said she thinks is pretty. Her health is doing wonderfully, she said.
"Today I just feel marvelous," she said before the parade. "Maybe it's just because I'm home."
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