Not sure any of you remember Gordie Howe. He was Mr Hockey, and in his day, was a force to be reckoned with. He died this week. 88 years old. RIP Gordie.
Growing up in Northern Minnesota, where the weather was on the cold side, we made lemonade.
You know: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and all that jazz.
We went ice skating every night of the week, during the winter. Since there was so much winter, we made the best of our frozen plight.
Kids adapt to their environment, and in Minnesota, ice and snow rule.
The crazy Canadians invaded our lovely little town, every year, to get in their ice practice, before they went on the road as the Minnesota North Stars.
I was 18 years old, loved hockey and hung out with the team.
They talked about Gordie Howe, and Jean Beliveau, Phil Esposito and Bobby Hull.
I remember Andre Boudrias, and Bob McCord, among others. What a fun time we had, 3 of us home town girls, hanging out with the team. Susie, Marilyn and the Chicken Butt: I think we expected the boys to be super stars, but they were just like the rest of us. We loved to laugh, cruise around on Superior Street, and stop at A&W for a root beer and a burger.
And I have to admit, when the team was ready to go on the road, Bob McCord pulled me aside and kissed me.
As my cat would say, “Oh Wow!”
The North Stars didn’t last very long. They moved to Dallas.
I missed them, but by then, I was hooked on hockey, and followed the teams, thinking that Gordie Howe was probably the best of the best.
Now, 50 years later, Gordie is no longer with us.
However, hockey continues to thrive.
I still love it.
My favorite games are those with the little guys: the kids that are just learning to skate.
I love to see their resolve and endurance. When they fall down, they get back up and skate their hearts out.
One of those squirts could become the next Gordie Howe.
I wonder what Gordie would think about that.
I think he would say: “Hey, kids, enjoy the game. After all, the purpose of life is to enjoy whatever you are doing. Be yourself. And never limit yourself. Follow your passion. Not everyone will choose hockey as a career. However, once you have participated in the game, your love of hockey will continue, for the rest of your life. On a final note, I hope you will share that love with your children. After all, there is nothing more precious than seeing a child learning to skate. It is an experience you will never forget.”