Sunday, July 18, 2021

My friend Jimmy

Just saw some pics of you. Remembering simpler times. Really just remembering all those cold nites at the cage. Before life really got in the way and we “grew up”. Man. We sure did play a lot of hockey. I am SO thankful you took me under your wing and always looked out for me and never ever treated me like some outsider. I may have been few years younger, I just kept my mouth shut and played with you, Trav, Buck, and everyone else. I learned how to stick handle watching you. Learned how to be quick and nimble cause we were both skinny and fast. We would play until we literally had nothing left in our bodies. I hated going up the hill after the game. It was like Mt Everest. I was in 8th and 9th grade and mom always let me go with you guys and she would alwyas have a smile when I came home. Worn out, blistered, bruised, but most of all…..happy. Maybe I would have an assist or even a goal and that would make my week. I never understood how we even all connected to start those constant strings of games. Remember us upgrading  our skates (Micron), our sticks (from Mylec to Titans and other brands). Remember trying to get our hands on faster ball bearings and cooler rubber wheels. We grew up. The games became fewer. The memories stayed. Every time I would stop by the Delms, I would always make sure to connect with you and a few jabs here and there that only few will get. A “I’m gonna carve you up Rackie” or a “nothing like tea with Miss McGill.” It gives me chills to say those things. I remember calling you “Deaner” a few times. Man did we love hockey. I am so happy I have those memories. They came on the heels of the Flyers losing to that great Oilers team. I never stopped loving hockey. Mostly cause of you, Trav and Buck. I keep this memory in my head. Me leaving the cage first. All of you just going to sit down and do what the “old heads” do after games. My memory is waking through the opening of the fenced in cage and climbing the hill. Part of me looks back to see your face and that great Jimbo glance. It tells me, “we’re good. We’re family. We’ll be here forever.” I’m so happy our skates crossed paths. I am forever a better man for having you as part of my journey. And really, we’ll all end up, in that cage, on a cold night, playing our hearts out. At least now I’m of age and can enjoy some post game Coors Lights. I’m gonna cheers to you today. We’ll lace the skates up again brother.

“Prepare to grow through pain.” - Herb Brooks

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