It’s good to be older.
My dad brought home a television in the late 1950s and I witnessed the Canadiens win at least two of their five in a row from 1955 to 1960 from our living room in Orillia. I saw the Rocket and Doug Harvey and Jacques Plante and the rest play live in Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens, and my dad had Toe Blake take my book into the dressing room to have Harvey sign it.
When I was a young teen in the early 1960s, I went to the old Montreal Forum twice to see games. It was before the renovations of the Forum in 1968, and the pillars were still in place blocking people’s views. After one game, I went down near the Canadiens dressing room and watched the trainers bring out the duffel bags from the old corridor, bags which I knew held the magical equipment of Beliveau, Geoffrion, Backstrom and all the others.
I was nearly 22 and a bartender in Sudbury when the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series took place, and I saw every game. I was alone, watching a grainy black and white TV, when Paul Henderson scored in game eight.
I was dating my first wife and together we watched the Canadiens-Red Army game on New Years Eve of 1975, from a high-rise in Ottawa.
I drank beer with Aurele Joliat and drove him home afterwards, gave Glenn Hall a tour of Powell River, saw Bobby Orr play when he was 16 years old in an exhibition game in Bracebridge, met the Rocket, and have had great luck in being in the right place at the right time, many times.
I saw dozens of Original Six games in Toronto, including the Habs on many occasions, and marveled at Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Tim Horton, Bobby Orr and rest, in their prime, from seats at Maple Leaf Gardens.
As a teen, I hitchhiked all over Canada and down to Los Angeles, saw the Beatles live in Toronto in 1966, and overall have lived a wild and crazy life. And I wouldn’t change most of it. I’ve also been to Russia six times and have met several of the Soviet players from the ’72 Series, and I was lucky enough to be taken for a ride with the Snowbirds during a media day on Vancouver Island a few years back when I was a newspaper columnist.
I’m proud to have done the things I did, and am now retired after a lifetime of jobs that included driving semis, working in factories, and at BC Ferries. But my proudest moment came when I worked in Montreal a few years back for Classic Auctions, the biggest and best historical hockey auction house in the world.
Here’s hoping you enjoy my site and visit often.
If for any reason you’d like to email me, my address is firstname.lastname@example.org