I found these while going through some boxes today. They’re photos of the Montreal Forum, taken in 1996 by my old friends Mike and Diana Williamson, who were kind enough to send copies to me after they’d had their film developed.
It was a trek to the Forum, to see a game and enjoy the city for a brief moment in time. When you didn’t get to do it often, as was the case with the Williamson’s and myself, a trip to Montreal was always a dandy time, with some of the world’s most excellent girl-watching involved. (For me, Diana. Mike would never think of doing this). Then the big game, that I couldn’t wait for, topping it off, seeing the sweater live and in colour, eating a hot dog, hearing the siren and announcer, following the Zamboni as I sipped my beer and gazed at the booth where Danny Gallivan sat.
Watching those familiar faces skating to and fro, sometimes scoring, and we’d join in with the mighty roar of the Forum faithful and shake the rafters.
The sounds, smells, and sights to behold in the Forum and in the unique and beautiful cosmopolitan city it sits in. All to remember and cherish from those who don’t get to go often. You Montrealer’s are used to it. You go about your business and don’t stare wide-eyed when you walk where the Richard Riot took place, where scalpers called out, where game night was the big night. It’s all old hat to you.
And anyway, it’s just a big amusement centre now, and whoever decided to do that should be hung from the rafters where the great sweaters once hung.
If I can ever get back, I’m going to go to the corner of Atwater and St. Catherines and close my eyes and dream about big nights of so long ago, that happened just inside the walls of where I stand. I’m confident I won’t get mugged while my eyes are closed.
The Forum on a snowy, wintry day. I’ll bet Mike and Diana had a great time.