Very soon it’ll be throw everything into storage, close up shop, hop into the car with Luci, Gaston, and maybe Teesha the cat, and drive 2300 miles to Montreal, where I’ll be working at Classic Auctions, which many of you know is the biggest and best historical hockey auction house on the planet.
This gig could last just a month, or many years. It’s been in the works for months, but it was difficult for both sides because of the distance. But in the end, they decided to give me a chance, and I’m honoured and excited.
Classic Auctions has been around for 19 years, and is legendary for the rare, high-end items it deals with in their auctions. They sold Paul Henderson’s ’72 Summit Series game eight jersey for 1.2 million, and their lots have always blown my mind – stuff from the Rocket, Bobby Orr, Lord Stanley, Howie Morenz, the 1972 Summit Series, Georges Vezina, Jean Beliveau, and on and on and on.
It’s always amazed me, the things that end up at this Montreal-based company.
I still didn’t know if I had this job when I sent my letter to my company saying I was retiring, and Luci and I had already planned to drive across Canada, even if the job didn’t come about.
But it did come about. A new adventure. Holy smokes.
If you want to check out some of their auctions, past and present, and see some of the most amazing hockey memorabilia, just click here – Classic Auctions and have a look around.
Darth sent this picture quite awhile ago but I couldn’t bring myself to put it up. Until now that is. I hope there’s enough lifeboats.
A 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals. What, the Habs didn’t win? Seriously?
Question: Who would you consider the better defenceman – Tomas Kaberle or Bobby Orr?
Isn’t Kaberle fantastic! Except for that time in the first period when he was so mesmerized by a slow-moving puck that he forgot to reach his stick out to clear the little black thing, and presto, into the net it went. And his long shots are the kind goalies prefer in practice. The ones they can see and stop and not get hurt by. But otherwise, him or Orr?
Wait a minute, that’s ridiculous. You can’t compare Kaberle to Orr. Orr was the best ever. I don’t know what I was thinking.
What about Kaberle and Larry Robinson?
I’m re-reading Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, and there’s a passage in there where Kerouac and Neal Cassady are in a bar and a guy named Gomez is wandering around trying to pick up chicks. I don’t know how their Gomez made out, but I sure hope he scored more than our Gomez.
The Canadiens played with blood, sweat and tears. Okay, there was no blood. And so what that it only looked like sweat and tears and their faces were wet because they’d poured water on them. And exciting! Whew! I’m only now just recovering.
Hey, I’ve only got so many decades left and if I die before they become a great team again, I’m going to be pissed.
Rene Bourque notched a shorthanded goal, which was the Canadiens’ first goal against Washington in 260 minutes, or about the length of time it takes Brad Marchand to read a comic book.
Those shots of Dale Hunter behind the Caps bench gave me a queasy feeling in my gut. The Habs and Quebec Nordiques enjoyed the most vicious rivalry in hockey, and Hunter was front and centre of it all. He was a nasty piece of business. Actually, a dirty, miserable prick.
Sunday, the boys are in Sunrise, Florida to take on the Panthers. Are you excited?
We’ve learned recently that Bruins’ netminder Tim Thomas is a hard-core rightwinger, and this doesn’t mean he wants to play forward or study Maurice Richard’s or Gordie Howe’s moves down the right side.
It means he’s an ultra-conservative type who would’ve wanted to grab me and cut my long hair if he was around at that time. That’s what rednecks did, called us girls and threatened to cut our hair. Tim Thomas would have worn cardigan sweaters, kept his hair short and a mickey of rye in his pocket, and went out on Saturday nights to see if he and the boys could stomp some liberal pinko hippies in a back alley.
Thomas would have hated draft card burners and draft dodgers, and lived and breathed the lyrics from Okie From Muskogee. (no offence to Merle Haggard). In fact, he and Don Cherry would’ve hit it off, I’m sure, if they were closer in age. They could sit around and complain about all the fags and freaks and devil music, and when a waitress walks by, they could pinch her ass.
He’s the kind of guy who would swerve at hitchhikers and just miss them and laugh like crazy, think that people in foreign countries should learn English and just stay where they belong, and yes of course, he would bomb the living hell out of that God-forbidden Russia, where everyone ate their young, spoke in some alien, evil tongue, and didn’t even have the same goddamned alphabet..
C’mon Tim Thomas, loosen up. Smoke some pot. Go to a Dead concert. Heck, you can even borrow some of my Jack Kerouac books. But then again, hopefully you’ll never get another chance to say no to the White House anyway, so carry on.
Want to keep track of Habs prospects playing in various cities around the world? Here’s a site that fills you in, surprisingly enough called Habs Prospects!
The guy who finds stuff on the internet that the internet didn’t even know it had, Danno, sent this over this morning, which I discovered after waking up in a San Francisco hotel room with absolutely no hangover.
I don’t understand it. I drank enough beer the night before to deserve a serious blow to the head, but I feel like a million, er, thousand bucks. Maybe Jack Kerouac is watching my back.
I realize now that the three best things I’ve bought in recent memory are a PVR, an electric blanket, and a GPS.
The PVR means we can pause or rewind live TV shows, record shows at the click of a button, and in general do amazing things with the TV that only God or someone of that ilk, like Jean Beliveau, could have invented.
The electric blanket allows me to wrap myself in it and feel a glow all over when the Habs are playing. And having the PVR means I can rewind that beautiful blast from the point in seconds flat.
The GPS is a wondrous device, with a woman with a British accent telling me to go left and right and turn here and there, and allowing us to drive around San Francisco today for hours on end and not get lost once. I love this lady. If I was single I’d want her to bear my children.
San Francisco is a wondrous city with a throbbing heartbeat, a city where every district seems to own a distinct and colourful culture. Coming in from Redding, the GPS lady took us across the Bay Bridge, directly to the Haight-Ashbury district where I bought a second-hand vest at a vintage clothing store, and where we stopped outside the Dead House at 710 Ashbury St, the house where the Grateful Dead lived, loved, laughed and got loaded.
I wonder what it’s like for the people who live there now, with tourists taking pictures of their house on a regular basis.
On command, the GPS lady, who by now was named Kate after Kate Capshaw, directed us to North Beach and the City Lights bookstore, the area where Jack Kerouac and his beat buddies wrote and drank and smoked and argued.
There have been two writers in my life who have made huge impacts. Milt Dunnell of the Toronto Star and his original and unique style of sports writing, who showed me that one can be a little off-centre when writing about sports, that it’s not just stats and numbers that rule the sporting world; and Jack Kerouac.
I’ve said often that Kerouac changed my life when I read “On the Road”.
When I was young, hitchiking around the country with nothing in my pockets, I’d sometimes think of Kerouac and how he had done the same thing, and how he’d taken his experiences and written about them, and I related more than I’d realized then. He taught me with his writings that it’s okay to break journalistic rules, it’s fine to sometimes to scribble rambling sentences if the need is felt, and it’s definitely okay to have itchy feet and appreciate the open road and not always follow what society dictates.
Kerouac is known as the father of the hippie movement, a title he disliked, but I understand why he was given it. He was a cool, gifted man, before cool was cool, who died far too young. He and his buddies like Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassidy listened to jazz, sat for marathon hours solving the world’s problems, and shunned society’s standard way of thinking. And as I said, they took to the road. He was a writer who influenced me greatly.
He and Milt Dunnell.
Luciena and I ended our day at Fisherman’s Wharf, listening to blues in an upstairs club, and as I write this, I say with bursting heart that San Francisco is a miraculous place.
Tomorrow (I think), the Hearst Castle and Santa Barbara. And naturally, any Habs stuff I can think of.