As you may or may not know, the Boston Bruins are playing the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs. Of course the B’s will win – I can’t imagine otherwise.
You see, I grew up in a hockey household, watching the Big Bad Bruins. Gerry Cheever, Phil Esposito, Derek Sanderson, and, of course, Bobby Orr. There was no escaping hockey-fever. I remember when I was young once asking my dad, “Dad, I’ll bet you don’t know where Bobby Orr was born.” I thought I’d stump him. His response: “Pffft. There are two birthplaces you remember. Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, and Bobby Orr was born in Parry Sound.”
Tonight I watched team captain Zdeno Chara take a hit that would pulverize any normal human, and it occurred to me that players used to actually play without helmets. Can you imagine?
No helmets, no plexiglass face shields, no cages, no teeth guards. If they got hit in the face with the puck, they shook it off, skated to the sidelines to get stitched up, and hurried back into play. If you don’t believe me, check out Slapshot, a great film with Paul Newman, where (if memory serves) a player gets stitched up IN the penalty box without Novacaine! Ah, the good old days.
But it also got me thinking about all the other things we used to do in the good old days. Some things I remember:
Waiting for food to heat up on the stove or in the oven – there were no microwaves.
Playing outside and never wanting to go home, not even when the streetlights came on – now I can’t wait to get home and to bed. The clock hits 9:00 and I ask myself, Is it a little sad if I go to bed now?
Watching TV until the test pattern came on – programming actually ended sometime around midnight. The National Anthem would play and then the screen would turn to snow.
Roll up car windows, manual steering, and non-power brakes – talk about a workout!
Busy signals and never knowing who was on the phone until I picked up – no caller ID meant it was always a surprise (sometimes good, sometimes bad).
I also remember the banners being lifted into the rafters of the Boston Garden. Some memories are sweeter than others.
Those are just a few of the things I remember. What do you remember? What do you miss?