Rosemary Ganley The Peterborough Examiner December 27, 2018
I wish I could write as well as Roch Carrier, whose short story The Hockey Sweater is a Canadian classic. But here anyway, is my Christmas hockey story.
I grew up in the hardscrabble mining town of Kirkland Lake, north of North Bay, where hockey was, shall we say, important. The local rink had been donated to the town by gold mining magnate Harry Oakes. It was both worn and wonderful, seating perhaps 1,200, but we generally used outdoor rinks anyway. My sister was a decent figure skater, but although I could trace a figure-eight, I was more of a rink rat. Pictures of me in that era show a grinning kid with a strange, cone-shaped, rabbit-fur hat.
Always a style-setter.
We listened to the Leafs games on radio at 8 p.m. Saturday nights via the nasal voice of legendary Foster Hewitt. Our town produced for the NHL: Ted Lindsay, Dickie Duff, Ralph Backstrom, Larry Hillman, Bill Durnan and the dreaded Plager brothers, Billy, Bobby and Barclay.