Howie’s Letter

An amazing piece of history just sold at Classic Auctions for $3540.00. It’s a letter written by Howie Morenz from his hospital bed to his Montreal and Chicago teammate Marty Burke.

Morenz had broken his leg in a game against the Hawks on January 28th, 1937, and on March 8th, the great star would unexpectantly pass away.

This letter was written two weeks before his death.

Sunday Feb 21st 1937

Hello Marty

Rec your letter sometimes ago, sorry I did not answer at an earlier date, unfortunately I was unable to sit up until a few days ago. It is like Spring here today have both windows open.

Sorry to hear of your accident you had just wrote me and hoped it would be the last accident for this year and a few days later I read in the paper that you had got hurt. It sure is a strange year. I never saw or heard of as many major accidents. I guess the boys are going too fast. Clem & Eddie were up yesterday. Clem is sure looking much better than a year ago, he told me he had a lot of trouble with his teeth.

Well Marty fate gave me quite a black eye but I am keeping the old chin up. I was really downhearted when I first got it. I wanted to finish this season in fact I had not been in such good condition for three years I did settle down a bit. It sure was good to get back and play for Cecil again. He has not changed his attitude towards the players. I let him read your letter and he said he would sure like to have had you but conditions here were just so that he could not replace any defence man that he had.

The boys have been up to see me quite a few times. They sure have been good to me. In fact it is like seventh heaven in here. I have had some lovely flowers and I got so many cigs I will be able to start a cigar store when I get out. Jack Mc Martin I believe you have met him sent me up a basket of fruit last night so large I could feed all the unemployed.

In regards to my ankle it sure got a bad break it is cracked three places around the ankle. The main bone is broken above the ankle and the small bone is broken in the side of the leg. It looks like curtains for me as far as hockey is concerned. I look back and say that I was fortunate at that. It’s a wonder I never broke my neck. Thank God I have that at least.

Well Marty I will always cherish the many good days we had together. We sure had many good times and tribulations together and I want to thank you for the many hours you went with me during these dark days in Chicago which was fruitless in a way but I really got a good lesson there. Well Marty I suffise it won’t be long before you will be a daddy. I know that you and Val will be  the happiest couple living (kindly do me a favor and reform him don’t let him be like the old man ha ha) and please don’t call him (alawishes?).

Well Marty I will close for now. The family are all well and hoping that your shoulder is better by now. My regards to Val and to all the friends that I knew at the Graemere (Hotel). Write me when you find time. Thank you for the invitation I will be up this summer.

Your pal Howie

3 thoughts on “Howie’s Letter”

  1. Dennis,

    There’s something about the circumstances of Howie Morenz’s death that always seems shocking no matter how often you read about it.

  2. This letter is so sad considering what happened. He must have gotten a severe infection or something and that’s what killed him. If it was just a broken heart than that has to be one of the worst cases of depression ever. Poor guy.

    I wonder how he’d feel knowing his great-grandson was playing for the Habs. He’d probably annoy the heck out of him with tons of advice I’m sure.

  3. Hey Dennis,A very interesting read ,for sure.I like the idea of reading what Howie put into print,it really shows that the feelings of such a tremendous player were still just like anybody else.I enjoy how it is a really down to earth report of his condition and his thoughts and feelings for those around him.I only wish he had a son as well.

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