The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!

Monthly Archives: March 2011

Showing My Age…

Today, someone I follow on Twitter posted something that brought back a flood of memories but one in particular.

I am a hockey fan and have been since I can remember. Saturday nights in the winter were one of the only nights that, as a kid, both my brothers and I were allowed to stay up late watching Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) with my dad. We were all Toronto Maple Leaf fans, having been born and raised in Toronto. Those nights were awesome. The ritual began first thing in the morning when we would all head out to the St. Lawrence Market where dad would buy 2 – 3 pounds of raw shrimp. We would take them home and mom would cook them and peel them and put them in the fridge to get cold.

During the game itself we would snack on popcorn (made the old fashioned way, on the stove) smothered with real butter and loaded with salt. We would wash it down with either Pepsi or Vernors. When the game was over we would all sit at the dining room table eating our shrimp and discussing the game we had all just seen. I loved those days – all of us together laughing and arguing about the game.

As we grew up, Saturday nights together were few and far between. Each one of us had “better” things to do, as do most teenagers. LOL.

Anyhow, today my friend Rocco, who is a total hockey fanatic – in a good way – posted that his 7 year old son asked him “Did a famous buffalo hockey player die in car crash.”?

I will never forget the night that Tim Horton died. Hearing it on the news I knew exactly the spot where he died on the way to Niagara Falls. The bridge is quite short as far as bridges go however the bridge is built to look like a ship. Both ends of the bridge have a bow/stern on them. That too has been there for as long as I can remember.

But the one memory in particular that I have of Tim Horton, occurred many, many years after he had died in a single car smash up in 1974. I was 14 years old at the time.

(For any of you who don’t know who Tim Horton is – he was an NHL player whose career spanned 25 years, 20 of which he wore a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey. Additionally he was the original co-owner of Tim Horton’s donut/coffee shops that now mark the Canadian and to a lesser extent, the American landscape.)

While I worked in the stock brokerage business the firm I worked for would rent the ice at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto every Christmas season and have a family/client skate. We would invite our clients and their families and also our own families were invited to skate and partake of the “party” later in the Hot Stove Lounge, which for the most part was a “Members Only” facility located in the arena.

If you have ever been to Maple Leaf Gardens you know that all the corridors are lined with pictures of Maple Leaf players past and present (well present at the time). The corridor that is closest to the Hot Stove Lounge was one of the corridors that were lined with past players. On a wall there hung a huge picture of Tim Horton. It was also the corridor which had seats lined up to lace up your skates, take a walk down the hallway past the dressing room and onto the ice.

The last family/client skate that occurred at the Gardens before they closed the doors I was one of the people who directed those who were skating to the ice and then directed them to the Hot Stove Lounge after their skate. As I stood there that night I watched a man and woman and their two children looking at all the old pictures on the wall. Dad pointed at the picture of Tim Horton and as he did his son, who was probably 7 or 8 years old. Looks up at the picture and says in a fairly loud voice “What’s he doing here, doesn’t he own a donut shop?” At that point in time dad, mom and everyone else within earshot started laughing. The poor little guy didn’t know what was so funny but everyone else over the age of 25 knew. It became the one story that everyone knew about that night the next day in the office and before the day was over all of Bay Street knew about a little boy at the Gardens the night before who only knew Tim Horton as a donut maven and not an ex-Leaf.

As I get older I kind of like when things jog my memory and start me thinking about things that happened in my previous life. I no longer work on Bay Street, Maple Leaf Gardens is no longer the home of The Toronto Maple Leafs and Tim Horton’s Donut chain is now owned by the same US conglomerate that owns Wendy’s and a couple of other fast food places.

And I am getting older, day by day, just like everyone else; it’s not such a bad thing after all. Thanks Max for making me think about something I had almost forgotten about until you asked the question.