Born and raised in a hockey town
I grew up in Detroit, MI and if anyone knows Detroit it is a real hockey town. In the winter the fire department would flood a portion of our neighbor park to create a skating rink. It was a big rink and the whole neighborhood would be skating. We could even skate from the park to our home a block and a half away since the sidewalks were also frozen. That is where I played hockey. I was small for my age so never was a great player, but that is all I would think about.
Hockey was always on my mind
My father also flooded out back yard so we could have our own skating rink as well. Me and my friend would spend hours back there trying to shoot a puck past each other into a goal. We also had a goal in my garage that we used to shoot a tennis ball into.
Needless to say I grew up to be a real hockey fan. One year I took three buses down to the Olympic Auditorium where the Detroit Red Wings once played to get standing room tickets only for my dad and our neighbor and myself. We wound up sitting in the aisle of the upper deck to watch a Stanley Cup game. They lost the game and also lost in their bid to win the Stanley Cup (hockey’s most coveted prize). I was devastated.
I think I got my interest in hockey from my grandfather who was on an all star team somewhere in Saskatchewan.
Our family moved out to California after I graduated from high school. I kind of lost interest in hockey as my interest seemed more about girls and goofing off at the time.
Always thrilled watching hockey
But I never ever lost the thrill I got when I saw a hockey game. It was about the late 80’s that I first became interested in the LA Kings hockey team. Then when they got Wayne Gretzkey I thought they were the greatest team ever. In 1993 they went to the Stanley Cup Finals and lost and I was really devastated.
Then the playoffs this year really got me going. While I was staying at the Oceanside Elks I invited my son over and we went to a sports bar and had a great time watching them win the game. They kept getting stronger and stronger. By this time I was out of local LA TV range and the best I could do was listen to the games on the radio.
Well to make a long story short, the LA Kings beat the New Jersey Devils tonight 6-1 to win the Stanley Cup. It had taken their franchise 45 years to win a championship and I was there through about 25 of those years.
I know this has really nothing to do with RVing or places I have stayed, but it has a lot to do with where my mind has been. I feel like I am right down on the ice skating rink with the players as they each take a turn hoisting the Stanley Cup over their heads. They are the World Champions for sure. I am high in the clouds I am so elated.
Congratulations to those LA Kings! Glad you were able to enjoy watching some good hockey, Jim.
Nice story, Jim. I was born near Detroit, but moved away when I was not quite six. So no hockey experience !!
I sure can identify with the backyard hockey rinks & skating on frozen sidewalks. Last hockey game I excitedley watched was the playoff series when Johnny Bower was in net for the Toronto Maple Leafs & Jacques Plante was in the net for the Montreal Canadians. It was the early 60’s & I had all the hockey cards including Gordie Howe’s from the Detroit Red Wings.
A few years ago we were in Lansing, MI… took a tour of the capital. As it happened, there was a big event happening that day… the Stanley Cup was “unveiled” and was going to be on display at the State House for a period of time. We watched all the ceremony, and even though we’re not residents of Michigan, nor have I ever seen a hockey game… we felt the pride that all those present were showing. The event was quite impressive… and… so was that beautiful trophy!
Not much of a hockey fan but this year while being stuck in Apache Junction, I really got interested in hockey and the Coyotes chances for the Stanley Cup this year. They went further than ever before in their history and it was fun to watch them and all the excitement they generated. By the way, you don’t always need to post about RVing stuff. Getting to know you is a lot of fun too.
Great Game last night. My husband ( brought up in So.Cal.) is an extreme sports fan, and he “has” waited these last 45 years for the Kings to win THE Stanley Cup. He use to have the TV on one game and a transistor radio on another game, it was all to much for me over the last lots of years, but the guy loves his sports,,,,GO KINGS !
YEAH GO KINGS!!!!!!! They played so fantastic that it was also fun to watch the coach of the other team sit there looking completely lost!!! Yes and we were lucky to have our own winter ice rink in our backyard with the flood light on to skate even at night!!! THANKS DAD!!! And I remember doing door bell ditch and be off skating away!! Good memories!
That is a part of you I never realized, Jim. Sweet memories of your dad. We are approaching Father’s Day and the memories pour in. Great timing.