I got on the phone in around 2008 and called Doug Harvey Jr, who’s my age and was living in Charlottetown at the time. I don’t even know why I’d do this phone thing from time to time. I was a lousy interviewer. Sometimes I’d just gap out.
Maybe I should’ve had prepared questions ready before I dialed. Hmm. Never thought of that.
But Doug Jr. told me about how the Rocket, Moore, Beliveau and all the boys would come over to the house., which I thought was neat and slightly different than my dad bringing home buddies from the sign shop.
Doug told me about his ski trips with his wife to BC, his restaurant in Charlottetown, and how being the son of a famous Montreal Canadiens seemed normal, like any other family.
He helped me with my pathetic interviewing. I think he sensed I needed prompting.
What stood out for me was when he said he’d go to games at the old Forum with his mother and they’d have to wait as Doug Sr. signed every autograph for every fan, regardless of how long it took. His mom would get mad at his dad because young Doug had to get up early for school in the morning.
Doug Jr, in the picture above with his dad, is a really good guy. He made my awkward phone call much easier, and I appreciated it. And by the way, I mentioned this picture to him, which is in my scrapbook, and he said it was taken when his dad was building his house, and he often had help from teammates.
I wrote about this chat and not long after a fellow named Peter Galoska sent in a comment, explaining that he lived two doors down from the Harvey’s in Montreal when he was a kid, and Dougie Jr was his best friend.
Here’s what Mr. Galoska wrote.
“I lived at 4560 St. Ignatius Avenue, two doors down from Mr. Harvey, and Dougie Junior was my best friend. Along with Johnnie Beatty, another boy on our dead-end street located between Somerled Avenue and the Loyola campus, we terrorized the neighbourhood. It was typical boy-kid mischief stuff like ringing doorbells and running away, throwing snowballs at city buses, and lighting firecrackers off in the local church (OOPS – I wasn’t supposed to give that one away!).
I will never forget Mr. Harvey’s generosity with his time – he was quite often the guest speaker at our Coronation Park hockey league’s year-end banquet and I would burst with pride being able to tell my friends that I knew him personally!
Dougie Jr. and I were always in trouble for some mischief or other – finally, when I was 11, in 1961, my family moved away from St. Ignatius and out to Pointe Claire – this slowed down the amount of time that Dougie and I spent together and we finally drifted away from each other.
One thing that I do remember about Dougie was that he really did seem oblivious about his dad being a star – he never used it to be better than anyone else and he couldn’t really understand why we thought it was such a big thing!”
Here’s Doug Jr all grown up, with then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper.